environmental conservation

La Mesa Ecopark reopens after 4-month closure


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La Mesa Ecopark reopens after 4-month closure

La Mesa Ecopark, dubbed as Metro Manila's last green frontier, reopens to the public on Satuday, June 29.

The park is open Tuesday to Sunday from 7 am to 4 pm

MANILA, Philippines – The La Mesa Ecopark, the public park near the La Mesa Dam, reopened its gates on Saturday, June 29, four months after temporarily cosing down.

The reopening marks the completion of the first of a three-phase park redevelopment.

The ecopark and watershed are considered Metro Manila’s last green frontiers situated north of Metro Manila.

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), Manila Water, and the Quezon City government, led the opening on Saturday, intending to promote watershed conservation, biodiversity preservation, forest protection, and climate action.

Located in Novaliches, the 33-hectare area hosts over 220 species of flora and fauna, according to an assessment done by the Center for Conservation Innovation PH.

“We would like to envision transforming the La Mesa Ecopark as a destination that offers experiential and environmental learning,” said Reginald Andal, executive director of Manila Water Foundation.

The first completed phase features the eco-academy hall, eco-view deck, souvenir shop, picnic areas, nipa huts, plant nursery, and food park.

Visitors can enjoy recreational activities such as guided bird watching, nature walking, forest paintball, wall climbing, rappelling, and archery tag.

Residents of Quezon City can enter for free with their QCitizen card while visitors from other cities can enter for a minimal fee of ₱20. Some facilities will have additional fees separate from the entrance fee.

As of now, the park will only accommodate a maximum of 1,000 reserved slots per day, made through MWF’s website. The management will not entertain walk-ins yet.

The park is open Tuesday to Sunday from 7 am to 4 pm. It is closed on Mondays for maintenance.

Phases 2 and 3 are set to be completed by 2025.

“This is not a small step. We’re awaiting phase 2 and phase 3 because that’s where the meat of the matter is—biodiversity,” said JV Emmanuel de Dios, president and chief executive officer of the Manila Water Company.

Phase 2 will include the lagoon suitable for recreational fishing activities, the Neptune garden, and Flower Hill. Phase 3 will include a forest area for hiking, trekking, and biking.

The opening ceremony also acknowledges the support of its recognition partners, Bloomberry Cultural Foundation, PAGCOR, Quezon City government, and Wilcon Depot honoring them with the ‘Kasangga ng Kalikasan’ award.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte proudly said they are the only city in the Philippines that belongs to the C40 Alliance of Global Cities for the Environment.

“Quezon City is really the trailblazer and the pioneer city in promoting climate action and sustaining the environment,” Belmonte said.

“We will nurture its natural beauty and ensure its rich biodiversity thrives for future generations,” she added.

Under the law, La Mesa Ecopark and La Mesa Watershed are under the joint authority of MWSS and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. These sites are used for intensive restoration, rehabilitation, and water quality monitoring.

Earlier this year, ABS-CBN Foundation ended its 25-year stewardship of the ecopark and the nature reserve. – Erika Sinaking/Rappler.com

Erika Sinaking is a Rappler intern from Adamson University. She is a third year student taking up Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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