AN oasis of green surrounded by neighbourhoods, Taman Pudu Ulu has become abuzz with activities and a hub for the community in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.
The park was developed in two stages over almost a decade, covering a vast 25.9ha in its entirety.
Practical yet beautifully landscaped, its first phase was opened to public in December 2007 by then Federal Territories minister Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique.
Though work on the second portion of the park only began in February last year, Friends of the Pudu Ulu Park Association (FTPUPA) played an active role in the park’s development since October 2013.
Since phase two’s completion in April this year, the association has been in charge of an assortment of garden-variety vegetables and fruits, said FTPUPA chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
“We have a small community farming experiment with Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi), which donated about 20 or 30 potted plants to the park.
“Mardi handed over care of the plants to FTPUPA and we in turn, get a dozen of our members and their families to adopt them,” he said.
Members diligently tend to the plants every weekend.
This was a part of the association’s concerted efforts to inculcate a sense of belonging and responsibility by encouraging community involvement.
In addition to the shared vegetable garden and tranquil greenery, there are also a canopied pavilion, board-walk, multi-purpose courts, reflexology footpaths as well as a wading pool for children.
Keeping a close watch over the park and its visitors, Lee makes his rounds almost every day to find areas of improvement.
“Safety is still an issue at the carparks because there have been a few cases of cars being broken into and a woman was also robbed.
“Drainage in the park needs to be improved as excess water flows onto the footpath, making it slippery.
“There are not enough public toilets and the maintenance of the existing ones leaves much to be desired,” he noted.
In his efforts to enhance the park, Lee had a meeting with Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor last month.
“I requested for the installation of CCTV cameras, two additional toilets as well as the appointment of cleaning contractors in the near future,” he said.
To further fulfil Taman Pudu Ulu’s purpose of serving the community in Cheras, FTPUPA member Mohd Ali Hamza said the association organised several events.
“Since the second phase was completed, we have been planning to carry out more activities to foster family and community bonding.
“Volunteers from the surrounding neighbourhoods have also joined the FTPUPA members for gotong-royong activities.
“Regarding public amenities, it is also important to note the need for a changing room for the children’s wading pool in Phase Two of the park,” Mohd Ali said.
Future proposals involve working with schools in the area to plant about 30 trees in a “Treelympics” competition by July.