The General Manager of the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), Mrs. Adetoun Popoola, has said that Lagosians have the responsibility to conserve natural resources and protect the ecosystem to support the health and wellbeing of all, promising the Agency’s readiness to continuously promote healthy living through landscaping and beautification of fallow spaces.
Mrs. Popoola stated this on Wednesday at RF Gardens, Ikoyi, during an interactive session with the media to discuss activities of the Agency as well as the results of its various collaborations with the private sector on the beautifications of parks and gardens across the city.
According to her, the mandate of LASPARK is to create a greener, healthier Lagos through the improvement of contaminated sites, the establishment of Parks and Gardens as well as planting and maintaining of trees across the State to mitigate the effect of climate change.
She explained that there are numerous positive effects of greenery in urban environments, noting that apart from beautifying the State, the green infrastructure also serve as leisure spots and recreational centres, where Lagosians can take time off after their busy schedule to relax and enjoy nature.
Her words: “We realise that people need to relax, there is a lot of chaos in the land, our lives are very busy and in the midst of all the day to day challenges, we need to create time to have fun with friends and families in any of the Parks that are ideal for relaxation”.
“Aside from leisure and recreational purposes, these parks and gardens can also be hired for various social and corporate events. Schools can also have their excursions at these Parks.” she added.
The General Manager outlined some of the notable Parks in the State such as Ndubisi Kanu and Johnson Jakande Tinubu Parks in Alausa, Ikeja; Muri-Okunola Park, Victoria Island; Badagry Park; Dr. Abayomi Finnih Park, Oregun; Ikorodu Park, Ipakodo; Rafiu Jafojo Park, Egbeda; Tunji Braitwaithe Park, Ikoyi; Gani Fawehimi Park, Ojota and Infinity Park at Jibowu.
While informing that the Agency has planted over seven million trees in addition to establishing about 10 parks and over 200 gardens across the five divisions of the State, Mrs. Popoola maintained that trees are very vital to the environment, stressing that they provide oxygen, limit carbon in the atmosphere, reduce air pollution, absorb stormwater and excessive rainfall, thereby helping to maintain healthy soil to prevent erosion and flood.
She maintained that the achievement of a healthy and sustainable environment remains the focus of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration as encapsulated in the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.
“Health and Environment are closely related, and human wellbeing is determined by the health of the environment. Chances of diseases spreading are reduced when green infrastructures are put in place and well maintained. We need to do a lot of advocacy to keep sensitising the public on the benefits of trees while continuing to encourage everyone to plants trees to beautify their environment and ensure compliance with the greening law”, she enthused.
Speaking further on the achievements of LASPARK under the current administration, Popoola said the Agency has been able to take over vacant and contaminated spaces across the State and transformed them to more aesthetically pleasing locations, listing some of these sites to include Outer Marina, Abalti Barracks and Onipanu on Ikorodu Road, Alaka in Surulere, Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way and Oba Akinjobi Way GRA, Ikeja, Maternal and Child Centre, Badagry, Lagferry Terminal, Amuwo-Odofin, Fela Monument Garden (Triangular Lay-by Opebi junction) Ikeja and Holy Child College, Obalende.
Noting that LASPARK will continue to work hand in hand with law enforcement agencies in the State to dislodge miscreants from open spaces and prosecute residents who commit environmental infraction, the General Manager acknowledged that the government alone cannot transform the city, hence the agency has engaged partners like rotary clubs, lion clubs, banks and some other private entities to partner, adopt and convert spaces to economically viable sites.
“The process of adopting open space is seamless. All the prospective partners need to do is to write us, tell us the purpose for which they need the open space for, present a design after which their applications are reviewed and approved”, she asserted.