When people come today to the Mahim Nature Park (MNP) they find it difficult to believe that, the forest they see before their very eyes was once a city garbage dump. But that is exactly what it was less than 20 years ago.Conceived by the WWF-India in the late 1970s, an area of about 37 acres in the “H” Block of Bandra-Kurla Complex, which was earlier a garbage dump or land fill, was decided to be ecologically restored and developed as a Nature Park by MMRDA. Located on Bandra-Sion Link Road and on the Southern bank of Mithi River (which starts from Borivali National Park highlands skirting the airport and meets the Arabian Sea at Mahim Bay and which is one of the major drainages of Mumbai),this mini-forest is nothing short of a miracle. Apart from being a vital green lung for pollution-ridden Mumbai, the MNP also offers Mumbai’s citizenry a welcome change from the din and hustle of city life.
Today experts from around the world visit the MNP to study how so many trees could grow on a dumping ground used for decades by the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai. Naturalists from the Bombay Natural History Society and the World Wide Fund for Nature-India confirm that MNP plays host to about 38 species of butterflies and more than 80 species of birds. What is more, as many as 200 tree species have been listed, many naturally planted by birds and insects. When you walk in the precincts of the MNP you will see numerous insects, amphibians and reptiles and together with the many species of fungi that thrive, the place has a feel of true woodland.
On the periphery of the Park is, the Mahim Creek, which supports a lush evergreen mangrove forest. This estuarine vegetation and the surrounding mud flats are favorite roosting spots for migratory and aquatic birds that winter in the Indian subcontinent. Which is why the MNP has become a particularly popular spot for birdwatchers from mid-October all the way to February-March. Though the waters of the Mithi river are very polluted, the MNP and the surrounding mangroves provide resting spots for thousands of birds and on any winter morning, with gentle mists rising, the surrounds provide an ethereal visage for visitors.
For the development and management of the Park, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority has promoted a society, known as Maharashtra Nature Park society. This society is responsible for day-to-day management and activities of the Park.
The Society has an apex body of “Board of Governors” of which the Chief Secretary to the Govt. of Maharashtra is the Presiden and the Co-President is Shri Bittu Sahgal. It has a representation of several top government officials as well as some eminent personalities from the field of Environment. Thus the Government is working hand in hand with the scientific community.
The Park Aims:-
a) To provide the citizens of Mumbai a quick change to relatively green and unpolluted area.
b) To educate the people, particularly children in Ecology and
The Maharashtra Nature Park has the following facilities for conducting the educational activities:-
a) Audio-Visual hall
b) Exhibition hall.
c) Activity spaces for conducting various activities like nature games,
drawing or painting competitions, etc.
d) Open air Amphitheatre
e) library of more than 500 books on nature and Environment related topics.
f) Nursery for growing and sale of plants.
Presently Maharashtra Nature Park has the following sections:-
i. Education Centre
iii. Wooded Area Section,
iv. Medicinal Plants cultivation Section,
v. Palm Section,
vi. Fruit Tree Section,
vii. Vegetable Section,
ix. Bird Observation Point,
x. Vermicomposting demonstration Project.
Maharashtra Nature Park is conducting following activities:
(i) Nature Trail,
(ii) Nature Games,
(iii) Study of Medicinal Plants,
(iv) Bird Watching,
(v) Seminars/Workshops/Lectures, and
(vi) Drawing and Essay competitions.
The Park visitors are provided a guide cum interpretation facility on
request (for which an advance intimation is necessary).
Park can be visited by anybody from Monday to Saturday between 0930 hrs. and 1800 hrs. (On Sundays and National Public Holidays too visits are possible, but with prior intimation.)
For group visit and further queries please contact the office of the
Dy. Director, MNPS, Maharashtra Nature Park Society,
Maharashtra Nature Park,
Near Dharavi Bus Depot,
Opp. P.M.G.P. Colony,
Dharavi, Mumbai 400 017.
( 407 7641/407 9939. E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org)