BY VINA MEDENILLA
The establishment of the initial community pantry in Maginhawa St., Quezon City has inspired hundreds of individuals to imitate the initiative. A community pantry is a community-led stall enabling the public to give or receive goods for free.
In celebration of Earth Day this 2021, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources National Capital Region (DENR-NCR) also adopted the same concept, but this time, they do not hand out food, but seedlings.
In a Facebook post, the government agency wrote that the project was put together “to help Metro Manilans cope with the stress caused by the pandemic through urban gardening and planting.”
DENR-NCR does not only hope to address food security in the region, but also to foster the conservation of Mother Earth by planting more trees and reducing ecological footprints. With this, they are giving away seedlings of fruit-bearing trees, vegetables, and ornamentals to those in need.
The Community PanTREE is located at the DENR-NCR Technical Services Office in North Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, and is open to the public on weekdays. There may be changes in the schedule per week. Visit DENR-NCR’s official Facebook page for the latest updates.
As of April 24, 2021, 1715 fruit-bearing seedlings, 3260 vegetable seedlings, and 150 ornamental seedlings were distributed to over 350 individuals. These seedlings are from the DENR’s nursery in North Avenue, Quezon City, and Taguig as well as from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).
DENR-NCR welcomes any donation from the public, may it be inside and outside the region. “Private individuals and groups who share a passion for urban greening may also donate plants in support of the project,” said the DENR in another social media post.
To donate seedlings, plants, or gardening materials, just leave a message on the official Facebook page of DENR National Capital Region.
DENR also reminds everyone to bring pots or recycled plastic containers and to observe the health protocols when visiting the area.
For now, the Community PanTREE is only available in their North Avenue office.
Photos from DENR-NCR’s Facebook page.