TAMAN Tugu forest trails are now open to the public with several routes to explore.
More than 500 visitors have checked out the trails, mostly spanning about 2km, during the Taman Tugu Project Eco Day at Taman Tugu, Kuala Lumpur.
There are two entrances to the trails which are opened to the public from 7am to 6.30pm.
Taman Tugu project director Calvin Jacob said the trails were not opened till late because adding lights along the trails would disrupt the natural habitat of the forest.
“We have done a lot of public engagement over the past few months, and had about 1,200 visitors walking the trails prior to the event.
“We will also be planting 4,000 new trees of 250 different species to attract fauna to the natural habitat. Over time, it will form a rainforest ecosystem,” he said.
The Taman Tugu Project Eco Day was aimed at spreading awareness of green space preservation and conservation.
Taman Tugu project is a multi-component not-for-profit corporate social responsibility initiative led by Khazanah Nasional Bhd in collaboration with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
“This is a community-driven project and every bit of the park is meant to be a lesson on sustainability.
“The trails are designed around things from the site itself, either decayed houses, rocks or even bits of rubbish which we found that have been recycled to make up the route.
“Even a simple structure like the natural cooling Forest House, can harvest rainwater that is used to water the plants,” Jacob said.
“We also want this site to be easily accessible to the public. These trails act as a bridge between the hiking community as well as those beyond,” he added.
Whilst a preliminary budget of up to RM650mil was initially earmarked for the project, costing and components are being reviewed to ensure value, efficiency and relevance.
Moving forward, Khazanah is also looking at alternative and innovative ways of funding the project to ensure it is a truly community-driven project.
Visitors to the Eco Day came as early as 8am to enjoy the trails.
Logs were lined up as borders of the forest walkway along the trails and trees were tagged with names on them.
Guides who showed the visitors around also introduced the different flora and fauna in the area.
The urban forest gave visitors a serene environment where the sound of traffic was not audible while inside the forest.
Several environmental-themed booths were also set up at the site.
Visitors were also treated to documentaries, environmental talks as well as performances by the Mah Meri community.
Retiree Chong Choy Fong, 61, said the park is cooling and better than Bukit Gasing.
“I hike up Bukit Gasing occasionally, but I like Taman Tugu better. “The trails are neat and less taxing,” she said.
Avid hiker Danny Chong, 38, said the trail was very enjoyable and easily accessible.
“The new trails are nicely kept and people can easily come to this place,” added Danny.