June 9th 2017, a nature interpretation centre has been completed in the Muthanga forests, one of the ranges of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. Kerala Forest Department proposed this initiative and Keystone had to bid for the contract via the government e- tender mechanism. The department gets more than 1000 visitors on a daily basis and has a nature interpretation that was done in 1991. The present day managers of the sanctuary were keen to have more updated center with additional displays.
Keystone furnished all the details required for the bid and waited for the response. On 26th October 2016 we were officially notified that our contract has been awarded and we were to proceed with the work.
Since then, zealous effort and creativity was channelled towards this project to set up a nature information center in 1500sq. ft of space surrounded by forest and rivers and wildlife.
Sumin George along with the designer and printer Chandrasekar (TextnGraphics, Ooty) have put together wall mounted state of the art posters, stunning photos and information of the diverse species, services and functions of Wayand Wildlife sanctuary. Information regarding the role and efforts of the department in managing the sanctuary have been prominently displayed. Wall murals made of terracotta designed by local artists of Wayanad harmonizes with the bamboo furniture from Uravu (an NGO that promotes bamboo), have been added to the space. Carpenter Rajendran, along with his assistant Murugan, painter Sasi and electrician Mani all worked together under the guidance of Sumin to complete the installations. The high quality painting and printing was done in Delhi and airlifted to Wayanad – a highly precession driven and demanding task considering the material (600kg of glass, poster boards and wood) arrived at Coimbatore air cargo and had to be transported over the mountains to forests in Kerala!
Wayand forest managers are keen to hire local youth as nature educators, who will be trained by Keystone staff, to run the center and maintain it.
We are certain that it will have immense influence and will serve as an informative place for people, visitors, sightseers, enthusiasts. We anticipate that the centre will speak for the ones without a voice, to showcase the important of wildlife and instigate many not leave it to perish, but save it to cherish.
We are filled with gratitude for the previous Wildlife Warden Roy Thomas IFS for initiating the idea and the current Warden Dhanesh Kumar IFS for implementing it, Muthanga Range Officer Ashalatha and all the staff and EDC members of the Wayanad Wildlife Division for their tremendous support and encouragement during the course of the setting up of the center.
The dates of the Inauguration of the center will be announced soon and will keep you posted on that.