The Caliraya Watershed in Lumban, Laguna is only a three-hour drive from Manila and nestled within is a sanctuary of seedlings—not just ordinary tree seedlings mind you but native species that will save the Philippine forests in the future.
This is Buhay Punlaan, a two-hectare nursery of native trees, that is a joint project of Haribon Foundation and private institutions Coca-Cola Foundation, Birdlife International, and Caliraya Ecosave Inc. and the National Power Corporation. It was created as a response to the native tree shortage in the country.
This summer, Haribon is inviting Filipinos to visit Buhay Punlaan to commune with nature and raise environmental awareness.
The nursery offers volunteer opportunities for individuals, families, and company emplo-yees who are interested to dedicate their time and at the same time learn basic seedlings preparation and maintenance.
Volunteers are first given an orientation on the relevance of the nursery and the importance of producing healthy seedlings in forest restoration projects. Through actual demonstration and firsthand experience, Buhay Punlaan provides lesson on seedlings nurturing and maintenance. Among the activities demonstrated are wildlings collection, potting, and transplanting, among others.
Over the years, the nursery has been a favorite venue for green thumbs and volunteers who wish to be close to nature. From 441 volunteers in 2013, it tripled to 1,207 volunteers in 2014.
More than a native tree nursery, Buhay Punlaan is also a venue for other nature activities. The nursery is situated beside the Caliraya Lake where volunteers may try fishing after the nursery activities.
The place is also open for camping for people who are searching for a nature’s retreat. The trees surrounding the nursery provide a natural coolness even in the scorching daytime making it a perfect green alternative escape this summer.
For inquiries, e-mail Haribon at firstname.lastname@example.org.