One Man Transforms 1360 Acres into a Lush Forest

One Man Turns 1360 acres in a forest

INNERSELF STAFF - The Power of One: One man in India transformed 1,360-acres (approx. 2 square miles) of barren sand into a lush jungle which harbors not only birds, butterflies, and miscellaneous flora, also provides a home for rhinos, tigers and elephants.

The forest is comprised of several thousand trees among which are valcol, arjun, ejar, goldmohur, koroi, moj and himolu. About half of it is covered with bamboo.

Regular yearly visitors to the forest include a herd of 100 or so elephants who generally stay for around six months. In recent times, the forest also provided a birthing place for their approximately 10 calves.

Indian man single-handedly plants a 1,360-acre forest

Jadav Payeng turned a barren sandbar in northern India into a lush new forest ecosystem.

TREEHUGGER. COM - A little more than 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav "Molai" Payeng began burying seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in northern India's Assam region to grow a refuge for wildlife. Not long after, he decided to dedicate his life to this endeavor, so he moved to the site where he could work full-time creating a lush new forest ecosystem. Incredibly, the spot today hosts a sprawling 1,360 acres of jungle that Payeng planted — single-handedly.

The Times of India recently caught up with Payeng in his remote forest lodge to learn more about how he came to leave such an indelible mark on the landscape.

It all started way back in 1979, when floods washed a large number of snakes ashore on the sandbar. One day, after the waters had receded, Payeng, only 16 then, found the place dotted with the dead reptiles. That was the turning point of his life.

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