Saving Arroceros Park: Isko plans to expand Manila’s Green ‘Ledgi

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A walk in the park is a welcome respite from exposure in highly urbanized cities like Manila to harmful air pollutants and noise.

Major Isko Moreno’s recent statements on green area development around Manila were met with enthusiasm by multiple environmental organizations pushing for the 2,2-hectare Arroceros Forest Park’s conservation.

It was in mid-2018 that environmental organizations under the Save Arroceros Park motion raised concerns about the plan to construct a gymnasium for Universidad De Manila (UDM) from the past administration.

Winner Foundation, the caretaker of the park for more than 2 centuries, heavily opposed the project, which would involve cutting trees inside the forest park.

The environmentalists emphasized the significance of the forest park, dubbed “Manila’s Last Lung,” in mitigating air pollution and acting as the city’s carbon sink.

Moreno’s plan involves expanding the forest park as part of Manila’s Five Pedestrian Corridor Masterplan that links Manila City Hall, Arroceros Park and Liwasang Bonifacio to make the region friendly for pedestrians.

The plan involves the creation of an esplanade to assist create a green, secure and walkable town from Intramuros to Ayala Bridge.

Environmental organizations welcomed the Arroceros Park plan by Moreno. It is an affordable location in Metro Manila to improve environmental education and nature appreciation. Mr. Tony Magno, who has been living in the park for almost 12 years, encourages the conservation of the park, both because of its environmental and historical importance.

The park, which hosts over 1,500 tree species, could be developed for young individuals to learn about biodiversity as a nature laboratory. The place was a place for nature appreciation and environmental education for Manila learners. In addition, urban green spaces encourage physical activity, relaxation and act as a buffer for urban noise. The World Health Organization described in a research the importance of urban green spaces in mitigating climate change while minimizing air pollution health risks, traffic accidents, physical inactivity.

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