The Forru Tree Nursery
Climb the mountain up Huay floed to Wat Prathat Doi Suthep and then continue on about another 500 meters and take a right into Doi Suthep Park Headquarters; for your efforts, you will find yourself in a quiet, evergreen rain forest where, slightly below the park's office complex, the FORRU Tree Nursery is located. Here, a group of scientists is working to help accelerate the reforestation process—deforestation is one of the most serious environmental problems in northern Thailand, and at FORRU you can witness some of the things that are being done to help the situation,
One of the ways the FORRU team wants to battle deforestation is through education, They have set up a program for schools and other institutes to visit. I took advantage of this program and brought my fourth grade students on a field trip to FORRU. My students learned about the different aspects to the reforestation process from various scientists, all of whom spoke excellent English. Individuals are also more than welcome to come to the nursery, take a look around, ask questions and even help out if they wish.
The highlight of my students' field trip was a trek through the rainforest. With over 300 different bird species and almost 2,000 different kinds of ferns and flowering shrubs, there's a lot to see. One of my students spotted the rare Raffelisia flower along the side of the path, but the real excitement came when we arrived at a giant fig tree. We were shocked at the enormity and beauty of it It is called a "strangling fig," and this one had certainly strangled many a weaker tree in its day. The final result of its struggles is a trunk that has many hollows with lots of room to crawl through and around.
This is an excellent outing for those who want some quiet or who seek knowledge about reforestation techniques, or for families who want to appreciate nature at its best; the trek is not too difficult, so young children can enjoy it, as well. There are also longer trails, which range in levels of difficulty. You need to talk to someone at the office if you're planning a longer trek.
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