A scale model of La Plancha’s landscape appeared at a recent environmental expo. Photo: Punto Medio

Mérida, Yucatán — With a little more rain, Gran Parque La Plancha will get a little greener.

That’s because officials are waiting for the ground to be a little wet and welcoming to 562 trees and 1,500 shrubs, waiting to reforest the old railroad yard destined to be the city’s next large-scale park.

“The rain will give us the pattern; if it falls until the second half of June then we will have to plant part of the 562 trees on that date, because if we plant it before, the plants will die,” said Felix Rubio Villanueva, head of a civil organization that promotes La Plancha.

The federal government granted 22 million pesos for planting trees and installing lighting and irrigation systems as the first stage of the project.

“Then, in the second stage, the lunary, the kiosk, the planetarium, the plaza, pre-Hispanic buildings and the little train will be built,” said Rubio Villanueva. Eighty percent of the park will be wooded, he said; for now, few trees grow on the land.

Mainly local species will be planted; rather than palm trees, expect cedars, ceibos, ramones and jabins, as well as some trees that have adapted well to Yucatán, like lluvia de oro and flamboyanes.

The trees, irrigation and lighting are expected to be complete by mid-September. An inauguration is planned, presided by Enrique Peña Nieto, who will be president until Dec. 1.

The next administration will be responsible for the park’s second phase, which addresses the baseball park and Railway Museum. That work would take until at least 2020.

Rubio Villanueva suggested naming the park “Gran Parque Ciudad de Mérida, La Plancha,” to signify the city’s name and be a tourist attraction, not only for Yucatecans, but also for domestic and international tourists..

“La Plancha will be a symbol like Monterrey’s Parque Fundidora and Central Park in New York,” he said.

Source: La Verdad