The provincial government of Pangasinan, with the support of local government units and other stakeholders, planted 149,964 seedlings from Feb. 1 to Dec. 31, 2023 under its Green Canopy Project.
The project aimed at reforesting denuded mountains and arid lands through volunteerism targets to plant one million trees and mangroves in three years.
The provincial government said trees can protect against flashfloods, soil erosion and heat.
Pangasinan records a high heat index, especially during the dry months. In 2022, the highest recorded temperature here was 55 degrees Celsius.
Based on the data provided by the Provincial Population, Cooperative and Livelihood Development Office over the weekend, the province conducted 98 tree planting activities for 11 months.
Most of the planted seedlings were mangroves in coastal areas; fruit bearing trees such as tamarind, atis, coffee, jackfruit, avocado, and coconut; and bamboo.
Retired Col. Paterno Orduña, head of the environmental management and protection department of the provincial government, said some 8,000 seedlings were also planted in a 20-hectare property in Bugallon town as part of an ongoing eco-park project that may open in 2025.
“Under the project, even schools are being planted with the aim to green the entire province,” he said in a statement.
He said they want the eco-park to appeal to all ages.
“Environmental preservation would encourage the youth as they are the ones to benefit from it in the long run,” Orduña, also the eco-park project manager, said.
The eco-park will have a botanical garden, camping site, picnic groove and bike trails. (PNA)