Parish turns garbage dump into mini zoo
In 2017, Santuario De San Vicente De Paul transformed a garbage dump on its grounds into a mini-zoo that houses peacocks, sheep, monkeys, and lovebirds, among others. OLIVER SAMSON
By Oliver Samson
May 27, 2018
Sheep, peacocks, native pigs, hamsters, chickens, lovebirds, and other animals thrive today in what used to be garbage dump inside a parish church compound in this city.
The area was first transformed from a rubbish dump into a garden in 2017, shared Fr. Roland Tuazon, Santuario De San Vicente De Paul parish priest.
“We started it last year,” he said. “It’s an effort of the parish in response to the challenge by Pope Francis.”
Known as the Laudato Si Community Garden, more animals were brought in after they put pigs to generate and provide the area with organic fertilizer, Tuazon recounted.
“When people saw some animals here, they started donating animals,” he said. “Soon, someone donated monkeys; another donated doves.”
One of the monkeys was donated by an individual who could not afford to give the animal optimal care, Tuazon noted. Today, the monkey is in good shape.
“It also serves as a rescue center,” he said.
It started with 3 native pigs, the priest pointed out. Now they have 23.
One has promised to donate a pair of ostrich, he said, noting that the area can be developed further.
A pond, a garden, a ‘mini-zoo’
“My dream is to make it really economically viable,” Tuazon said.
The garden and its “mini zoo” are open to the public for free, assures the priest.
“Everyone is welcome, if he is interested,” Tuazon said.
Vegetables, herbs, and ornamental plants are also grown in the garden.
Aside from the Laudato Si Garden, the parish’s fishpond is home to several fishes and a number of ducks.
According to the priest, people are also welcome to fish in the pond for leisure.
The parish also encourages, supports, and rewards families and communities that do urban gardening.
In 2016, the parish launched urban gardening contests, rewarding outstanding urban gardeners with prizes ranging from Php5,000 to Php20,000.