The Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT), under the enduring commitment to increase forest areas for the country, has acquired 480 hectare of abandon rubber plantation in Pa Yup Nai sub district, Wang Chan district, Rayong Province, to recreate as a public learning center for education and research by establishing the Kamnoetvidya Science Academy (KVIS) for high school level and the Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC) for higher education. Beside these 2 institutes, the Wangchan Forest Project was also formed under the determination of PTT Reforestation Institute for creating low carbon society that showing how urban development can be harmonized with the forest. This project aimed to establish an integrated learning center for forestry and forest restoration, which covered area of 56.16 hectare. The main objectives of the Wangchan Forest Project were to exhibit different reforestation techniques, to restore the degraded land of over mature rubber plantation, to collect indigenous and endanger plant species of eastern Thailand, to create forest ecosystem for recreation and learning, and to participate in Thailand-Voluntary Emission and Reduction (T-VER) project.
The Wangchan Forest Project is located adjacent to Kun-In mountain which covered with Dry Evergreen Forest, the site has comprised of various steepness of topography, and the old rubber plantation is situated within this watershed basin. Therefore, site development was planned with respect to the existing hydrological system in order to adapt this natural drainage ways as irrigation system for the reforestation areas. The pervious data of Rayong’s precipitation was collected, and the quantity of water demand for nurturing the forest was calculated for capacity of reservoirs and water supply of the project. The existing water channels were thoroughly studied and preserved, and series of small and large reservoirs were excavated at different site’s elevations to collect water during rainy season. These retention ponds were lined with impermeable material-GCL Liner, because soil in this area has sand as major component. However, the riparian edge with wetland vegetation is designed for every reservoir, so they will appear naturally once the project is completed. Then, water channels from these reservoirs were created and utilized for irrigation system of the reforestation areas. At the same time, these water channels have become natural corridors connecting Kun-In mountain and down-hill areas, which expanding terrestrial ecosystem and creating natural linkage for the whole area.
The Wangchan Forest Project has divided into 3 major parts which are reforestation area that covered 480 hectare, 6.4 hectare for reservoirs, and the building learning center and other activity areas. The various reforestation methods have been explored and classified to reassure the mixture of created forest that will not only good for learning, but beneficial to the surrounded communities which mostly were rubber farmers. Since mono-crop farming proven to destroy the land productivity, the variety of mixture crops were purposed as alternatives of appropriated agriculture. The PTT Reforestation Institute and local communities have developed the “Local Ecosystem Program” by integrating the natural resources with local knowledge and community needs, combining necessary knowledge of environmental science with agriculture practice. Hoping that, this program will raise awareness and understanding of natural resource conservation, forest ecosystem, appropriated agriculture practice, and local culture, man and nature relationship, and sustainable conservation measures for every visitor.
The landscape architecture teams were commissioned by the PTT Reforestation Institute to lay out master plan for The Wangchan Forest Project to designate suitable zoning and circulation for various forest exhibitions and other facilities. The majority of forest areas were created under supervision of Department of Forestry, Kasetsart University, which will also utilize these areas for their education and further research, however, the whole reforestation zones were deliberately laid following the natural and created drainage channels to support the successfulness of the forest growth.
Within reforestation areas, the eco-forest section, Forest Restoration Zone Miracle of Plant, was assigned to the landscape teams, to design an eco-forest using Dr. Akira Miyawaki’s ecological method to reforestation and to create optimal growing environments and stimulate plant growth. This section is called “Forest Restoration Zone Miracle of Plants” which covered 6.4 hectare, collecting more than 500 species of native, endanger, fruit trees, and flowering plants. Inside this zone, the varieties of forest environment such as: wetland, Dry Evergreen Forest and Mixed Deciduous Forest were created. Beside these areas, the special plant groups, Wildflower planting area, Field Energy Crops, Auspicious Trees, Thai Literature Trees, Lord Buddha Trees, Bamboos, Prestige Trees, Siamensis Trees, Tropical Fruit Plants, Fragrant Plants and Wetland were exhibited.
According to Miyawaki’s reforestation method, the raised berms were designed, engineered and constructed with pre-mixture of highly fertile organic soil to provide porosity and prevent compaction. These berms were carefully placed to direct seepage flow from the built retention reservoirs through the berms’ channels. This method followed King Bhumipol’s irrigation technique done in his Royal Forestry projects which he has imitated the smallest natural drainage way that meandering along different terrain while providing moisture to the reforested areas. Beside the irrigation purpose, the berms were carefully located to improve site’s ventilation, to control ground level perspective, and to improve the aesthetic of the forest.
After 2 years of development The Wangchan Forest Project has changed tremendously, and become forest areas with bio diversity, habitat of wildlife, and a perfect learning center for visitor who wanted to learn about forest and natural ecosystem.
Project Website: www.pttreforestation.com
Design: TK Studio
Lead Landscape Designer:
• Mr. Tawatchai Kobkaikit: Lead Landscape Designer / Managing Director
• Assistant Professor Dr. Angsana Boonyobhas
Landscape Design Team:
• Mr. Chon supawong : Landscape Architect
• Mr. Somkiet Chokvijitkul: Landscape Architect
• Miss Nantawan Sirisup: Landscape Architect
• Miss Acamsiri Lormphongs : Landscape Architect
• Mr. Pavin Bunternghunsa: Landscape Architect
• Miss Patcharanat Phokhinthanasiri : Horticulturist
• Miss Tiprada Tingkluab : Horticulturist
Additional Project Credits:
• Architectural Design: ARbay
• Interior Design: Interior Design Farm
• Lighting Consultant : FOS
• Structural Engineering : PPE Consultant
• MEP Engineering : MITR
• SIGNAGE DESIGN: G49
• Construction Management : EDA
Project location: Wangchan, Rayong province, Thailand
Design year: 2014
Year Built: 2014-2015
• Mr. Rungkit Charoenwat