Baguio parks undergoing renaissance during ECQ

May 5, 2020 – Baguio City’s parks appear to be enjoying a renaissance during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) period.

City Environment and Parks Management Office Asst. Head Rhenan Diwas said that as observed by CEPMO personnel, there was a marked improvement in the parks' flora as vegetations became lusher and flowers more vibrant with longer bloom and life span after the parks were closed.

Diwas said while they have no instruments or other concrete means to measure the change in the parks’ vegetation, the park caretakers’ years of experience in tending to the gardens could well be their gauge in telling the difference in the foliage after getting a breather from people and cars.

He said that when they planted some flower species last November, their blooms only lasted for two to three weeks but supplementary blossoms planted nearing the ECQ period surprisingly outlasted their usual bloom duration.

“In normal times, we should now well be into our seed gathering season as flowers would have normally dried up by this time but as it is, flowers are still abloom at this point so we had to defer our seed harvesting,” Diwas said.

Even the petunias planted along Session Road and Magsaysay Avenue which normally wilt after two weeks are now thriving and maximizing their blooming period," Diwas said.

"Although these are seasonal plants expected to die naturally, they surprisingly enjoyed a prolonged life span," he added.

Diwas said the parks' rejuvenation is attributable to the stoppage of human activity and reduced vehicle pollution in the parks since the ECQ.

An air quality monitoring report from the CEPMO albeit culled from a lone area at City Hall had shown significant reduction of air pollutants in the area since the number of vehicles plying the roads was significantly cut down.

Diwas said they are now taking advantage of the lull to further improve the parks' foliage in line with the CEPMO's regreening and park beautification drive.

Personnel continued working in the parks to do regular maintenance, add more plants, line up pathways with more foliage and improve nurseries by rearing more plants and tree seedling and saplings.

All these are geared towards preparing the parks for when the health crisis is over and they reopen they can offer more beauty and relaxation to the COVID- weary public longing to go promenading around these parks again, he said. - Aileen P. Refuerzo