Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Report on the 20-Jan-19 nature walk @ lake

On Sunday 20th January 2019, Dr. Kaustubh Rau led a group of 30 adults and 10 children on an extremely informative and enjoyable nature walk around the Puttenahalli Lake. We had given the children a sighting chart on which they could mark the birds and trees they spot. With the fishermen at work, the bird count was low but still the group was able to see more than 20 species, get to know the names of some trees and climbers and hear little stories about how some of them came to be planted. Before we realised, we had taken two hours to walk one half of the perimeter! All in all, this Sunday was one that was truly well spent! 
- Sapana, PNLIT Events Coordinator





Here's what some of the participants had to say :



Thank you for organising such a wonderful event. I had actually registered  my 7 year old son and was the accompanying adult. But it was me who totally enjoyed the walk as it was the first time I was going to see birds and trying to recognise them. It was really nice to try and find out different types of birds -getting back to childhood inquisitive nature, look around with eyes and ears open - it was a forgotten activity for me. Also I was happy to see different types of trees around - trying to identify the names of each tree. I have walked across the lake at least 50 times but never bothered to look and understand the things around me. I have decided to take it forward and get to know more about each plant and birds around. My son and I have planned to do a project after we get to know more about our lake.

Thanks for creating the awareness in me. And thanks for your constant constructive discussion and detailing to my son - he enjoyed bird watching and he was very happy as he was taught how to see birds and identify the birds. His favourite was the kingfisher. 

- Dr. Lakshmi Priya




My husband Gopal and I were happy to see that so many kids with their parents, youngsters and of course nature lovers like us had turned up for the walk on a Sunday morning.

Dr. Kausthub Rau took us around explaining all the interesting details of the birds, their habitat and migration etc. It was a delight to spot the birds and discuss their colour size and feeding habits. A lot of interesting facts! Kids were excitedly noting down the details of the birds and the names of the trees on their sighting chart. The young adults seemed to know so much, we're very impressed.

PNLIT members Usha, Divya and Sapana also told us about the various trees planted at the lake, their origin and flowers. It was amazing to learn about the floating islands. So much to learn!

Wish more residents in and around the lake join in for these interesting events. Admire all the efforts PNLIT folks are taking in preserving our lake and the flora and fauna. 

- Vasanti



I truly enjoyed the nature walk last Sunday. It provided an opportunity to me to know some of the birds visiting the lake and the exotic trees so carefully nurtured by PNLIT. The enthusiasm and keen involvement of the kids was so infectious and delightful.
On the whole it was a morning well spent!

- L. Ramaswamy


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Nature Walk 20-Jan-2019

Our first event of the year is here!

Take a nature walk around the lake with an avid birder and biologist Kaustubh Rau and see what birds and insects call their home.

When - 20th January 2019 (Sunday) from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Where -  Puttenahalli Lake
For - Adults and children (children below 8 yrs need to be accompanied by an adult)
What to bring - Your own binoculars, water bottles, caps


This is a FREE event, but you need to register the name(s) as we have limited seats available.

To Register - Send a mail to sapana_rawat@yahoo.com or divyadshetty@hotmail.com with your name and apartment community name.

About Kaustubh Rau
:
Kaustubh Rau works as an educator with young people and enjoys learning about the natural world with them. Currently he teaches in the biology program at Azim Premji University.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

2019's first Gardening Day - a report

The first family gardening on Saturday 5th January was a great start to 2019. 

It was a glorious winter morning at the lake. The sun shone brightly on the trees and the water, one could see only sparkles everywhere!

Schools of fish could be spotted at various points making the cormorants a happy lot. A Spot-billed Pelican which has been visiting the lake regularly of late, came around to enjoy the sun and the lake much to the delight of our "Family Gardeners."

Trees like the White Silk Cotton and Ball Badminton are flowering. The deciduous Mahogany is still fully barren but the Thespesia is growing new leaves after shedding all their old ones on our avenue side!

They had provided enough work for the volunteers today - 5 adults, 4 children and 2 young adults. They all raked the fallen leaves and collected them for composting. When this was done, some of them set to trimming the hedges while others watered the plants. No one noticed how the hour and half went by!

One of the first time participants, a 5 year old introduced her aunt who had brought her because, as she said, her mom and dad are at home. Dad was watching television.

Keeping a straight face, I told her to get her dad to bring her the next time. 

She said, "He doesn't listen to anyone. He is a naughty boy."

Childhood is like no other phase in one's life because it is filled with wonder and curiosity. Nurture it!  Join us with your children in our next Family Fun Gardening Day on Saturday 2nd February.







Warmly,
Sapana
Event Coordinator, PNLIT

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The Year That Was - PNLIT Highlights of 2018

The transition from one day to another is, well, as predictable as the marching of time. And yet, the shift from 31st Dec. to 1st Jan has something magical about it. It spells new hope, a fresh beginning. We hope our resolutions for the new year will bear fruit and wish that yours would come true as well. 

Here's a quick flashback on our highs and lows of 2018. 

Jan: T.S.Srinivasa’s “Discover Garden Climbers” was released by naturalist Vijay Thiruvady followed by an absorbing discussion on climbers, shrubs, grasses and more in a lively Q & A. Mr. Thiruvady and Mr. Srinivasa inaugurated the naming of the trees in our lake by hanging a board on a Badminton Ball (Parkia biglandulosa) and a Big-leaf Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla).  We are putting up the name boards on other species. 

Srinivasa and Thiruvady, Jan 2018

Feb: The northern side entrance to the lake was finally made secure with a fence and gates. A grant from VMWare enabled us to undertake this installation which had been pending since 2009 when BBMP marked the boundary of the lake. 

Mar: Heavy pre-monsoon rain on the 15th led to sewage gushing into the lake from three sources. BWSSB did stop the inflow but by then the quantum of sewage was too high and the fish began to die. By the end of the week, almost all of the fish were gone. It was a traumatic experience which made us to look into aerating the water. This has become vital because the problem of sewage continues if sporadically. We have taken this up with the Chairman, BWSSB and hope they will find a permanent solution to overflowing underground drains polluting our lake. 

Fish kill, Mar 2018

Our morale received a boost with getting CSR fund from Axis Bank to meet our operational expenses for 2018-19. Such a relief! 

Saahas, our new partner to manage the waste on the lake premises and in the surroundings, began their sensitisation programme and dry waste collection. 

Apr:   Our gardeners laid pipes from the valve chambers along the walking track to water the hedge and plants on the revetment. We used the last of a grant from Deloitte Shared Services India Pvt. Ltd. given in 2015-16 to lay this pipeline and procure ground cover plants for the slope.

Watering line, Apr 2018

May: Our lake is often mistaken for its namesake in Yelahanka or with Sarakki Lake. To end this confusion we added "Puttakere," as it used to be referred to earlier. A large sized board proudly announcing "Puttenahalli Puttakere" was put up at the northern side entrance.

Name board, May 2018

June: We revived the Family Gardening day. Held on the 1st Saturday of the month, adults and children have been working with great enthusiasm. It is open to everyone. Please bring your family too!

Family gardening, June 2018 onwards

PNLIT gardener Jayanna fashioned a fountain aerator by extending the pipeline down the slope into a perforated circular tube resting on a floating platform frame. It works well. Our gardeners are enthused to innovate more!

Jayanna's fountain, Jun 2018

July: Another different event that was greatly appreciated - Yellamma and Other Stories: Stories and musical conversations on Goddess Yellamma. Held in collaboration with the Urban Folk Project, an initiative to archive folk art forms in Karnataka. 

Urban Folk Project event, Jul 2018

Aug.: Led by Mr. Sridhar Pabbisetty of the Namma Bengaluru Foundation, a team of 20 Indian Economic Service officers from New Delhi visited the lake. 

Sept.: In a joint exercise with our knowledge partner, Earthwatch Institute India, part of an international environmental organisation, a Sustainability Training Programme was held for employees of HSBC. Scientists from IISc. conducted the programme. 

We signed an agreement with SMS Labs Services Pvt Ltd. to monitor the quality of the water on a monthly basis. Our heartfelt gratitude to the BMS College of Engineering who had been testing the water in their lab since June 2016. With several independent researchers and organisations coming over to collect samples and conduct their own tests, we felt it was necessary to have our own benchmark. SMS Labs Services Pvt Ltd. is an NABL certified laboratory. 

Oct.: One of our residents, Mr. Rakesh Kasba did a trial run of a self-designed "Duckweed Extractor."  With the duckweed greatly reduced in the lake, we need to explore whether it can be used to remove any other floating waste. 

A video series titled Eco-India by Scroll.in went live. The first episode on Bengaluru lakes includes ours. At the time of writing, it has been viewed 2,50,693 times! 

Nov.: Continuing our effort to aerate the water, we placed an order for a fountain with Alpha Powers, Coimbatore using a part of the Axis Bank grant. Special thanks to Mr. Raghavendra Shanbhag, a regular visitor to the lake for his help with this project. 

Our Children's Day celebration was made memorable by young singer, Anjana Padmanabhan, winner of Indian Idol Jr. Season One and a drum jam led by Ashirwad Achrekar and his 14 year old son, Arnav.  

Children's Day, Nov 2018

Earthwatch Institute India brought out a beautiful coffee table brochure on the Puttenahalli Lake revival story 

Dec. PNLIT Chairperson, Usha Rajagopalan was invited to the International Water Management Institute (IWMI)-Tata Partners’ Meet on 'Building Climate Resilience for Doubling Farmers Income: Innovations in Land, Water, Energy and Ecosystems' held at Anand from 4th to 6th. She gave the Keynote address at a session on 'Warriors for India's Urban Lakes.'  In her speech, Usha had highlighted the assistance PNLIT received from BBMP (Lakes), other government agencies, our CSR partners and from the neighbourhood. With your continued support, we will reach more milestones in 2019.

Striated Heron, Dec 2018

Warmest greetings to you and your family from all of us at PNLIT!

The PNLIT Team

Photo credits: PNLIT Shutterbugs