April 18, 2017 11:00 AM

Koya Pond Restoration Project

Hello! I'm Fukumoto of the Safety & Environment Group of Itami Works.

In this post, I'd like to introduce one of my tasks - coordinator for the Itami Works in helping to improve the local environment.

As the name suggests, the Safety & Environment Group works on matters regarding "safety" and the "environment."
The environment team, to which I belong, carries out environmentally friendly activities, such as energy saving and waste reduction, while always paying attention to drainage, noise, vibration, and the air, in order to prevent environmental accidents damaging our surrounding area.

In Itami City, where our Itami Works is located, an exploratory committee for restoration of the waterfront environment of Koya Pond has been established for the purpose of preserving and restoring the area's natural environment. Committee members, along with citizen volunteers, carry out activities of the Association to Preserve and Grow the Nature of Itami. The association consists of three respective sections in charge of forests, ponds and rivers, and each month we participate in the forest section's activities.
At the Itami Works, six total members - two from the Safety & Environment Group and four from each plant who change month - join the activities. It has been nine years since we first participated in April 2008, with the total number of people from the Itami Works now reaching about 580.

To maintain the environment of Wild Bird Island, an artificial island in the shape of the Japanese Archipelago built in the center of Koya Pond, we weed the island, prune withered branches, plant saplings, and erect weed prevention sheeting. Although Wild Bird Island was once rich in greenery, many of the tress there have now withered and become severely damaged due to droppings from great cormorants, making it difficult for the environment to recover on its own. This was the background of why the activities were launched.

Koya Pond Restoration Project
Koya Pond Restoration Project

We can enjoy the activities in the comfortable seasons of spring and autumn, but our bodies become sweaty all over from the June rainy season to October's lingering summer heat, requiring us to take care not to suffer heatstroke. When we view the beatified island after finishing our activities, however, we feel a sense of fulfillment that cannot be described.
Also, when passing by Koya Pond Park, we see Wild Bird Island without realizing it. Seeing the thick and lush trees, we feel pleasure, and at the same time, can't help hoping that the saplings grow well, rather than wither.

In November last year, the first national ranking of municipalities with biodiversity was released based on an assessment of the municipalities' efforts regarding biodiversity. Of the 665 municipalities in Japan, Itami City was selected No. 1, together with Toda City in Saitama Prefecture, Kawasaki City in Kanagawa Prefecture, and Kobe City in Hyogo Prefecture.
Itami City was highly recognized for its cooperation with local companies, and this especially is great to hear for participants like us. Since we feel the opportunity here gives us a valuable experience, we'd like to continue actively participating.

If you have an opportunity to come to Itami City, please visit Koya Pond Park and check out Wild Bird Island. If you have any interest, why don't you join us in the forest section's activities? You're always welcome!

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