Quezon City

The metropolis’ green hope

We are often being reminded of the importance of environmental conservation and protection; some of us may have grown tired of hearing this message over and over. But with the threats brought about by climate change looming greater than ever, that message deserves to be repeatedly hammered down as a way to address this problem.

Unfortunately, many of us have become too engrossed in the urban mentality as we appreciate more the towering buildings over the trees that provide shade and oxygen. A number of our green spaces have dwindled alarmingly thanks to further urbanization.

Thankfully, there are still people dedicated in pursuing the cause of the environment in the midst of the encroaching urban degradation, giving the city a needed breathing space in an effort to strike a natural balance in the city’s environment. One particular group of folks like them are responsible in maintaining a one of a kind environmental center at the heart of the metropolis: The Manila Seedling Bank Foundation’s environmental center right at the intersection of the major chokepoints that are Quezon Avenue and Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue. (EDSA)

This complex first opened its doors on September 1977. While the Manila Seedling Bank Foundation (MBSF) is itself a non-government organization, it has had some good support from the government right from the start when the first lady of the time Imelda Marcos helped the foundation out as part of her vision for a greener Metro Manila. Until now, it has been helping out in the reforestation and greening activities of the government, as well as of other organizations.

tree saplings on sale which are used for various tree planting activities
a hybrid tree planted by the late former Pres. Cory Aquino

The center holds 3 greenhouses, some of which are being used from time to time as exhibit areas for horticultural shows. Unlike the greenhouses we see in the West, there is no glass roofing used for the greenhouses there. Instead, net materials are giving shade to the plants there, with some good irrigation in place as well.

For plant hobbyists and lovers, the MBSF complex is renowned for the variety of plants not only on display but for sale, thanks to the number of tenants who have set up shop there. Flowers, vegetable crops, tree saplings, seeds, soils, anything that is flora-related, you would likely find it here. The good thing about it is the low prices so you can get a good bargain on them, not to mention to help promote planting for everyone.

one of the many tenants inside the Environmental Center

For nature photographers, this place is a good spot to take photos of various flora in bloom.

More than ever, the role of Manila Seedling Bank Foundation and its Environmental Center bears so much importance and commendation in the midst of the ongoing environmental degradation especially in the metropolis and the people becoming less and less aware of the importance of the environment in our planet. It is my hope the foundation keeps doing its job of helping our environment with their environmental center not only for the present generation of urban-dwellers but for every individual and future generations as well.

Acknowledgements: Manila Seedling Bank Foundation and Philippine Horticultural Society’s Mr. Lawrence Chan

© The Urban Roamer

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