The General Manager of the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), Adetoun Popoola, has said the agency is focused on green infrastructure that would serve Lagosians serve as leisure spots and recreational centres so Lagosians can take time off their busy schedule to relax.

Mrs Popoola spoke during a meeting with journalists in Lagos.

“We realise that people need to relax, there’s is a lot of chaos in the land,” she said.

“Our lives are very busy and in the midst of all the day to day challenges, we need to create time to have fun with friends, families and our parks are ideal spots for relaxation”.

“Aside from leisure and recreational purposes, these parks and gardens can also be hired for various social and corporate events. Schools can also have their excursions at these Parks.”

The LASPARK boss said the agency has planted over seven million trees and established about 10 parks and 200 gardens across the five divisions of the state.

She listed some of the parks to include the Ndubisi Kanu Park and Johnson Jakande Tinubu Park in Alausa Ikeja; Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island; Badagry Park; Dr Abayomi Finnih Park, Oregun; Ikorodu Park, Ipakodo; Rafiu Jafojo Park, Egbeda; Tunji Braithwaite Park, Ikoyi; Gani Fawehimi Park, Ojota and Infinity Park Jibowu.

She said LASPARK would continue to promote healthy living through landscaping and beautification of contaminated sites, establishment of parks and gardens as well as planting and maintenance of trees across the state to mitigate the effect of climate change.

Mrs Popoola also maintained that the achievement of a healthy and sustainable environment remains the focus of the current administration as encapsulated in Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.

“Health and environment are closely related and human well being is determined by the health of the environment,” she said.

“Chances of diseases spreading are reduced when green infrastructures are put in place and well maintained. We need to do a lot of advocacy to keep sensitizing the public on the benefits of trees and continue to encourage them to plants trees to beautify their environment while ensuring compliance with the greening law.”

Mrs Popoola said LASPARK had taken over vacant and contaminated spaces across the state and transformed them into sites with a more pleasing outlook. She listed some of the sites to include Outer Marina; Abalti Barracks and Onipanu on Ikorodu road; Alaka in Surulere; Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way and Oba Akinjobi Way GRA, Ikeja; Maternal and Child Centre, Badagry; Lagferry Terminal, Amuwo-Odofin; Fela Monument Garden (Triangular Lay-by Opebi junction) Ikeja, and Holy Child College, Obalende.

She added that LASPARK will continue to work hand in hand with law enforcement agencies to dislodge miscreants from open spaces, arrest and prosecute residents who commit environmental infraction.

She also said the government cannot single-handedly transform the state and solicited for partners to utilise and develop empty spaces across the state.

“The process of adopting open space is seamless. All the prospective partners need to do is to write us, tell us the purpose for which they need the open space, present a design after which their applications are reviewed and approved.”

Earlier, Tunji Bello, commissioner for environment and water resources, Tunji Bello, said Lagos, being a coastal city surrounded by wetlands, makes it susceptible to the effects of climate change. As a result, he said, there is a need for more greenery initiatives.

He encouraged residents to enter into partnership with LASPARK to plant more trees, shrubs and create more gardens for the restoration of the ecosystem.

The commissioner, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Environmental Services, Belinda Odeneye, said that as part of the initiative of the state to encourage the growing of plants and vegetation, the government is planning to create non-motorised transport places across the state.

He noted that the non-motorised transport places, when created, would be assessed through gardens either by walking or riding a bicycle, adding that it’s one of the ways to encourage residents to imbibe greenery.

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