KARACHI: Lignum Park of Block-V, Clifton, the third park after Nusserwanjee Park and Sculpture Park to have been adopted by the Indus Valley School (IVS) of Arts and Architecture, was inaugurated early morning on Tuesday.
While introducing the IVS community services project, their executive director Samina Raees Khan said that the park was named after the umbrella-shaped lignum tree with pretty white and lilac flowers. “It is a native tree that requires little water and helps purify the air,” she said.
“The park was given to the IVS in 2015 by the former commissioner Karachi Shoaib Siddiqui,” she said. “At the time it was a garbage dump, a haunt of drug addicts. It was also synonymous for incidents of vandalism. But it also had 43 lignum trees to which we added another 20 to make them 63. We also planted several flowers here and turned this place into a unique outdoor park that offers indoor games,” she said adding that they were able to turn the park around thanks to corporate donors along with contributions from individuals, including the IVS staff and students.
IVS senior lecturer Ira Kazi, who is also the lead landscape architect and designer of the project, said that Lignum Park was initially a project of their architecture design lab. “We have specially designed this park as a neighbourhood and community park that also caters to senior citizens, hence the many benches here, and children,” she said. “The park is divided into three parts with the central area serving as the main sitting area, the left side as the indoor games area with carom and chess boards and the right with several plants and other sporting places on offer,” she added.
Among the challenges they faced while improving the area and designing the park, Ms Kazi said, were a shortage of water there but still they had managed to build a small tank that was filled with gray water from IVS washrooms mixed with clean sweet water for watering the plants. And since they cannot have grass in the park due to the water shortage they have designed a floor which has strips of grass.
Hameed Soomro, a former professor at the IVS and the chief guest on the occasion, appreciated the initiative. “A park in the neighbourhood engages the community,” he observed, saying that the IVS would hopefully take on more such positive projects.
Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2018