GROWING concerns on the preservation and conservation of Bukit Persekutuan has prompted the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Selangor to initiate an interest group.
Bukit Persekutuan, also known as Federal Hill, is one of the few remaining green lungs in the city and takes up about 28ha of prime land.
MNS wetland programme manager Sonny Wong said they maintained most of the forest until today as MNS headquarters was located at one of the foothills of Bukit Persekutuan.
“We have members and volunteers, who periodically go into the forest to clear the trails and see what they can do to help the plants and trees grow better. We clear the walk path and cut creepers and record the flora and fauna, among others.
“Since there are many residences and offices surrounding the forest, we think they should also take responsibility for its upkeep,” he said.
He said MNS was collaborating with Think City Sdn Bhd, a community-based organisation that offer grants to protect the natural forest.
MNS flora group volunteer Lim Koon Hup led a heritage trail walkabout and an Urban Community Forest briefing for the public on Saturday.
“We thought if we could get the people to help us preserve and conserve as well as create awareness on our natural reserves, Federal Hill would be in better shape,” he said.
He said ultimately they wanted the surrounding community to form a group called “Friends of Bukit Persekutuan” but the tenants in the area kept changing.
“So far, we have 40 people who have committed to joining the group once it was established. Most of the houses belong to the Government and are tenanted to civil servants for a certain period of time.
“There was no continuity on our projects with them, so we would like to call on all nature lovers to be a member of this group.
“We do not have the exact number of flora and fauna species in the hill because every time we go in, we find something new. Today I discovered three types of endemic meranti saplings here that is usually found in Perak.
“There are also trees that I have yet to trace its name. The secondary forest is showing signs of turning into a rainforest and we need to help it,” he said.
A hasher and Friend of Bukit Kiara member Peter Leong, 53, said it was not only a green area but it also had a lot of history.
“It was actively used during the British colony and post colonial times, when it became Bukit Persekutuan. All the states had their respective palaces and the roads there were named after each state. In my view, it is supposed to be part of a historic district, which should not be devalued in the name of development in any way,” he said.
MNS was in the midst of making arrangements to form the group. For updates, visit MNS Urban Community Forest’s Facebook page.