Monday, May 10, 2010

Planted a tree

Friday 7 May 2010

I was quite excited today as we were heading to Kuala Selangor Nature Park to learn about the mangrove forest and its importance to us and the ecosystem. There was a chance that we could plant some trees and seeing that Earth Day just passed, doing that would be just perfect.

Kuala Selangor Nature Park is a state-owned park run by
Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), the only park in Malaysia run by an NGO. It's very well managed - funds are sourced by MNS through corporate sponsorships and education programmes while the current state govn (Elizabeth Wong to be more precise) supports them by providing facilities for the park such as chalets, auditorium, etc.

Ashok, who's based at the park and Shan from MNS HQ, showed us around. They said the trail runs 4km around the park with 1km of elevated broadwalk over the mangroves right out to sea.

Our first stop was a mangrove area that was struck by lighting. They were trying to restore the land and required loads of trees to be planted for it to return to its full glory.

Young tree saplings, bout 8 months old.

Tree saplings are cultivated till they are about 6 months to a year old before they can be planted in its natural environment. Mangroves are important to us as they maintain the economic and environmental balance. Without it, our river life wouldn't survive and our fishermen who farm cockles nearby, won't be able to make a living. 400ms of mangroves can stop tsunami and flooding, protecting the town of Kuala Selangor and all its inhabitants. Mangrove plants also have the unique ability to survive in both salt and fresh water and can absorb pollution and filter the air, helping us to breathe easier.

We were overjoyed when Shan and Ashok said we could plant some trees. The public can donate RM25 for a tree sapling and either plant it themselves or MNS will plant it on their behalf.

Here's what you need - a big planting stick, a tree sapling, a thin ratan stick and a raffia string. First, plunge the planting stick in the mud. Move it in a circular motion to create a deep, round hole say about a foot deep. Very tiring okay! Remove the bag from the tree roots - don't squeeze the roots! and place it neatly in the hole. Pat the mud back in place with your hands and tie your tree sapling to the ratan stick with the string. There - you've planted your own tree and done your bit for the environment!

Jerry planted 3 trees!

I was a bit tired after planting one tree – I know, I’m a pansy.. but ever strong Jerry planted 3. That’s 4 new trees for the environment yea!

Here’s more reasons why you should do your bit and plant a tree as well :

* One tree annually produces 91kg of oxygen to help us breathe.

* In a year, 40 trees will remove 37kg of air pollutants to reduce smog and air pollution.

* Four million trees will save RM68mil in air pollution clean up.

* Trees help offset greenhouse gases from our cars and homes.

* Trees improve our air and water quality.

* Trees provide home, shelter and nourishment to animals.

*Trees can make a home 20 degrees cooler, saving an average of RM595 a year in air conditioning cost.

* One young healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating for 20 hours.

* Trees can increase property value by 20%.

* Trees are on the job 24 hours a day to improve our environment and our lives.

The 1km elevated boardwalk over the mangroves

We continued touring the park after that and visited the nursery before walking along the 1km boardwalk above the mangroves out to sea. There were fascinating tiny blue and red fiddler crabs all over the muddy floor, a few giant mudskippers and plenty of balitongs and they were huge! So much bigger than the ones we normally eat. Saw a black pit viper curled up at a gazebo’s roof too.

Pencil root mangrove trees

Kerengga nest

Long-tail macaques or more commonly known as beruks and silverleaf monkeys make this park their home. The beruks are the ones you see all over town, pests, really. Since all animals are protected in the park, the only thing the rangers can do is plant fruit trees further out in hope that they will migrate there. They have been breeding like rabbits and can get quite aggressive. One alpha male came charging up to me to grab the plastic poncho from my pants pocket. Careful carrying plastic bags in the park as the monkeys think there’s food in them. The silver leaf monkeys are much nicer and gentler. They are rarer though, and harder to spot in the park.

We bid farewell to the park after two hours and Shan invited us for lunch at Kuala Selangor’s many famous seafood restaurants. Food was yum!! Marmite crayfish, steam fish, lalas… he even ordered fresh morning todi which Jerry surprisingly liked with his Guinness Stout. Me, I still can’t stand the foul smell :P

Since we were in Kuala Selangor, we visited the new aquarium next to the Nature Park where all sorts of fresh water fishes were displayed. Nothing that fantastic – you can cover the whole place in 10 mins - but visit it anyway since it’s free and just right next door to the park.

Tame silverleaf monkeys at Bukit Malawati

Hehe check out the monkey spa

Another place you can go is Bukit Malawati, also just right next to the park. There’s a stairs you can climb from the road which leads you straight to the Poison Well where prisoners were tortured in neck-deep poison waters.

A little further away, nearer to the Museum is a troupe of silverleaf monkeys. They are quite tame as visitors feed them. They will allow you to touch or hold their human-like hands and feet. Babies are born bright orange and slowly loose their colour as they grow older.

Got annoyed cause I missed the turn on the way back to KL and took a long drive to Klang before joining the PLUS back to Subang. But it was a good day and I’m happy we contributed something, if only a small bit, to Mother Nature.

1 comment:

  1. hi ther,i'm trying to organize a recycle project,to plant more trees,can i know more about the detail,this is my email address,
    1,legal to plant tree in kl?
    2.wher we can plant those tree?
    3.where to get to buy those tree to plant?
    4,what type of tree are useful for us?


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