Engaged Media: Lalbagh TreeStory

Once upon a time thousands of flowering trees lined the streets of this small town and created a microclimate of cooler air. Then everything grew in Bangalore: population, streets, traffic, pollution. Despite citizens’ protests, hundreds of avenue trees were cut down, others left in tight asphalted spaces, all to build the much-needed metro – next to their protected brethren in the adjoining Lalbagh Botanical Garden. This is their story in the first 2 decades of this millennium imagined on Google Earth:

“So the magnificent trees in the park decided to spread seeds and seedlings and knowledge about their edible fruit and medicinal talents to the sites of their suffering tree-sisters and started to re-green the road along the elevated train. They bring with them tales about their global histories and religious worship.”

Enter Google Earth and zoom through word clouds of wisdom. Humans from all continents remind us that we are one with nature. Are we listening? On the ground, the history line shows the de-greening up to 2020. Our visit with the new blooming trees must be around 2120 or later when the trees again give cooling shade, shelter and fresh air to people and animals.

For an interactive journey, download the .kmz file here and drop it into Google Earth. See my India-Fulbright blog on this site for more on my project and research.