NUR Aleeya Maisara Mohd Rizal and Nur Nazima Nazirah Mohd Nazri got their hands dirty for a good cause, as they worked together to plant a penaga lilin tree in Taman Rimba Riang.
“I’m happy and proud that we left a positive imprint in the park. I look forward to pointing this tree out to family and friends when I return here in future,” said Nur Aleeya Maisara.
The two girls, both aged 15, were part of a group of Nature Lovers Club members from SMK Section 8 Kota Damansara attending the Eco-Community Festival held at Taman Rimba Riang in Section 9, Kota Damansara.
“We’ve learnt activities such as recycling and turning plastic bottles into other reusable items through the club. I also try to share the green practices I learnt with my family,” said Nur Nazima Nazirah.
Students from nine schools around Kota Damansara, along with park visitors, enjoyed a day of outdoor fun and learning at the festival jointly organised by Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Selangor branch.
The event was aimed at creating awareness and an educational platform on caring for the environment and promoting the ecology of Taman Rimba Riang.
Activities lined up included a Community IQ-Eco Hunt (treasure hunt), tree-planting demonstration and session, guided nature walk, as well as booths by the various MNS groups such as bird watching, herpetology, cave, flora and green living.
“Eco-community refers to a community that values environmental sustainability and liveability of a city that has become their home,” Petaling Jaya deputy mayor Johary Anuar.
“Today’s programme also serves to impart knowledge to students and park visitors on green lifestyles and sustainable practices.”
He said it is now MBPJ’s practice for developers to replace every tree felled for development with two other trees.
“If a replacement is not possible, the developer will have to give a monetary compensation of equal value. The funds will then be used for tree-planting activities at another park.
“This practice is in line with the Sultan of Selangor’s decree that collapsed trees or those felled for development be replaced and replanted,” said Johary.
He said it was also the state government’s policy that the management and conservation of trees, including the tree selection process, planting, maintenance and disposal, are done according to the best arboriculture practices.
“It is vital that we care and conserve the environment in view of climate change and the unpredictable weather we are facing.
“It is also important that parks such as this are preserved as a recreational space and for children to be able to recognise various types of plants,” said Johary.
“Taman Rimba Riang is a park rich with biodiversity. It is a stop used by migratory birds that travel as the season changes,” said MBPJ Landscape Department director Zuraidah Sainan.
“Some 60 rare fruit trees, pokok buah nadir, will be planted around the park today, as part of the efforts to green the recreational space and educate the younger generation to recognise these plants.”
She added that the department targeted to plant more than 10,000 trees in the city every year.
“It is also MBPJ’s requirement that at least 10% of new developments be set aside as green space.
“With land being more scarce and more multistorey buildings built, the greenery is now going vertical or located on rooftops,” said Zuraidah.
Present at the festival were MNS Selangor branch chairman Pasupathy Jayaraj, Kota Damansara assemblyman Shatiri Mansor and MBPJ Management Services Department director Mohamad Rosnani Hamid.