MM JUNE 2018: Trail Cleaning with MNS
Tuesday, 19 June 2018
Written by Michelle & Hii Ning
Green Thumbs in the Making
"What is a Raleigh Monthly Meet without a proper group photo?"
Keranji, Keladan, Cassia.
If someone asked us to explain these terms, we would have said it’s likely related to ‘Kanji’ (starch), ‘Keladi’ (yam) and a lady’s name? Little did we know, all three were names of plants found in the Urban Community Forest (UCF) of Bukit Persekutuan!
On a fine Saturday morning, 20 Raleigh KL volunteers arrived at the Malaysian Nature Society’s (MNS) Headquarters, greeted by Wai Leng – MNS Special Interest Group (SIG) Flora Group Coordinator. There was an introduction about UCF – its history, significance in terms of flora and the need to conserve it. Due to its proximity within Kuala Lumpur, we are certainly privileged to have this green lung in the vicinity.
We were split into 3 teams. Team A and B, armed with machetes and shears, were all gung-ho as they trekked into the trails with their MNS guides. They were tasked to help clear old paths and a drainage system that were overgrown by plants. It was somewhat an uncomfortable job as the ground is not visible and there could be anything underneath. But under the guidance of Dennis and Uncle Lim from the UCF, with a variety of gardening tools in hand, both team get to learned and execute the given task.
"Volunteer carefully transfering seedings to be planted."
Meanwhile, Team C was assigned to move ‘Merbau’ old batch of saplings from the nursery next to the UCF building to a plot closer to the car park. This is to create another space for younger batch of saplings to be relocated. The MNS guide, Dominic was very happy as the team managed to move about 700 saplings to the new area in 4 hours! These were to be used in the upcoming MNS Selangor branch’s Open Day in July.
Mr. Lim, a MNS resident volunteer and former botanist with MARDI, needed an extra hand. Hence, Michelle from one of RIKL MM participants helped to mix sand and clay in a large tub. Following that, they poured the soil into prepared garden beds. Also, Mr Lim demonstrated how to sow the Keranji and Cassia seeds, which it had germinated a few days before.
Lastly, UCF family showed teams what dedication and determination really means in conserving and preserving is. But most of all, they’ve taken the responsibility of taking care of one of the last remaining forest in the KL area into their own hands and executed it without complains by involving the public especially youth. No doubt its a mammoth task but it is our forest, and our future that we are conserving also. The takeaway we got that day was fruitful as we learn about our local environment even more.
Stay tuned for another Monthly Meet from Raleigh KL!
Keranji – a type of jungle fruit.
Keladan – a kind of hardwood from the kapur family. The leaves will eventually form a ‘crown of shyness’.
Cassia – a plant in the legume family.