Located inside an urban subdivision in Quezon City is a complete oasis called La Mesa Dam Ecopark. This 33 hectare public park located right outside the natural boundaries of the La Mesa Dam Watershed and 40 meters below the reservoir has become a healthful alternative among residents of a city teeming with shopping malls.
Due to lack of funds, illegal settling, and logging, this area was once neglected until Bantay Kalikasan (Nature Watch) spearheaded the rehabilitation, reforestation and protection of the La Mesa Dam Watershed.
With an entrance fee of 50 pesos to non-Quezon City residents, one can commune with nature and experience the park’s abundant greenery.
Some of the park’s facilities are named after its commercial sponsors like the Lopez Picnic Grounds (where we had lunch), the Shell Flower Terraces which actual forms the walls of the dam and the Superferry Boating Lagoon where the small boats are named after the shipping company’s ports of call.
Additional fees are required for the use of some equipments and facilities like fishing rods (inclusive of earthworms for bait) for the fishing lagoon, swimming pool and boat for paddling ala Baguio’s Burnham Park. The additional fees are still minimal compared to what one will be spending when in a shopping mall or a classy resort in Metro Manila.
According to the La Mesa Ecopark website, “Just by visiting you are already actively participating in Saving La Mesa Dam watershed.” This only means that all revenues generated by La Mesa Ecopark are utilized for the continuous preservation and protection of La Mesa Watershed.