July 18, 2024

“Environment is not merely land, air, and water but also people.”
These words are from the late Gina Lopez, once named the Philippine eco-warrior and former secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Her words symbolize how we should value our environment, how we should treat it, and how we should act when something goes wrong. We suffer from the consequences when we do not treat the environment well so we should treat nature like how we treat life and like how we value our image as an individual.
As we observe the Environment Month, I am reminded of a place which I just recently visited and reminded me that a place where nature is intact is a magnificent place to live in.
A total of 800 square meters of the Puguis Communal Forest was converted by the 2nd Benguet Provincial Mobile Force Battalion under Lt. Col. Benson Macli-ing into a nature park, called Warrior’s Nest. It aims to reconnect people with nature. Those who visit the area are reminded to, “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photos, and kill nothing but time”.
The breathtaking view of the nature park is ideal for small gatherings like picnics. Benches and tables were installed to allow parkgoers to enjoy their picnics while breathing fresh air and nature’s scent. Also, you can enjoy hiking together with your friends and families as pathways were opened to allow people to explore the beauty the communal forest can offer.
It also has various obstacle courses, swings, and seesaw, among other amenities, allowing parkgoers to not just relax but also feel nostalgic as they enjoy the games they once played in the parks when they were young.
The Provincial Environmental and Natural Resources has also established an arboretum near the Warrior’s Nest. Established in September 2015, the arboretum is planted to a variety of trees and shrubs that are maintained for show and as references for studies.
As biking becomes a trend, the demand for wide space becomes greater. The communal forest can cater to this need as pathways for bikes and bike lanes were designated to avoid possible accidents for those who intend to visit the Warrior’s Nest.
As we take responsibility for the different aspects of the environment such as air, water, and land, we should also value the people and how they can reconnect the nature and bring a sense of accountability to Mother Earth. By doing this, we can achieve a wholesome living where we can enjoy the pureness of nature and moments with the people we value as well.
With the issues about environmental degradation and the impacts of climate change, we need to change the way we treat nature. As Lopez said, “It’s the people that kill the environment, it’s also the people that can save the environment.” (EZRA JAMES O. FELIX)