Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Tram rides and training of teachers at the KSNP

It was decided unanimously during our Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Selangor Branch Strategic Plan Workshop at Titi Eco Farm last October that environmental education, being one of our organisation’s goals, would be given more priority this year. We had advanced a plan to hold a workshop for schoolteachers, to be conducted by senior MNS volunteers.

Our plans came to fruition last weekend at the Kuala Selangor Nature Park (KSNP) when a team of MNS volunteers conducted a hands-on environmental awareness, education and action plan workshop for teachers from 38 schools in Selangor and the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. The 2-day workshop saw the teachers going through the basics of birdwatching, nature-guiding and petition-drafting and learning more about a variety of topics from conservation issues to outdoor safety skills.

It is good to be back. The tidy Park, tree-lined trails and cosy and practical little meeting hall were welcoming sights indeed.

I had initially felt disappointed to see the sturdy little gazebos and picnic tables underutilised in the afternoon. However, day-trippers, joggers and picnickers started trickling in during the cooler part of the day.

Ashleigh conducted the ice-breaking session for the teachers and volunteers. I did not participate in this session as I had brought work home for the weekend and was trying to complete my research in the morning.

James C conducted a session on water demand management, the impact of oil palm plantations and the KL Outer Ring Road to heighten the teachers’ awareness of current issues.

Hashimi Ismail led the teachers on a water monitoring exercise. You can find out more about water monitoring and purchase the water monitoring kits from the official World Water Monitoring Day website.

Teachers testing stream water samples for temperature, turbidity, acidity and dissolved oxygen content.

I conducted a post-lunch energiser session followed by an hour-long semi-interactive session on Green Living. My presentation covered issues such as: “Why Green Living?”, Living A Better, More Environmentally Mindful Life”, “The Role of Teachers and Students”, “Students as Consumers”, “Seeing through Greenwash”, “Better solutions through science and technology”, “Resources for teachers” and “Sample activities and action plans”. This candid shot was taken by Hashimi Ismail.

A little bit of Paradise in KSNP.

“Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.

- Kahlil Gibran”

Later in the afternoon, Loretta, Pui May, James C and I went birding at the watchtower near the saltwater lake after having completed the sessions we were supposed to conduct.

James, Loretta and May birding at the watchtower. We spotted Brahminy Kites, sunbirds, white-eyes, Purple Herons and Cattle Egrets, among others.

I wanted to know everyone’s favourite bird. Loretta’s favourite is the Sumatran Eagle-Owl. James likes sunbirds best of all. May doesn’t have a favourite bird yet. Being the big cuckoo that I am, my favourite bird is the Greater Coucal.

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy. – Photo taken by James C.

I decided to leave my associates after an hour to take a walk up Bukit Melawati, just for old times’ sake. I boarded the tram at the foot of the hill. Tram rides are always a treat!

The little lighthouse near the top of Bukit Melawati, formerly known as the Altingsburg Lighthouse, was constructed during the time when Malaysia was a British protectorate.

Ancient stone steps leading up to Fort Melawati serve as a reminder of Bukit Melawati’s glorious past as a strategic vantage point over the Selangor coast.

The ‘Batu Hampar’ or Executioner’s Block stands within the courtyard of Fort Melawati. Criminals and adulteresses alike were beheaded at the Batu Hampar over a century ago.

Silver leaf monkeys wait for handouts at Bukit Melawati although nature has provided them with an abundance of food sources.

The perfect ending to a perfect day – I had a shaved ice dessert at the new ice-cream parlour across the road from the tram station.

The Kuala Selangor Nature Park has been under the management of the Malaysian Nature Society since 1987. For more information, please contact:

Kuala Selangor Nature Park (KSNP)
Email: ksnaturepark@yahoo.com
Tel : (603) 3289 2294
Fax : (603) 3289 4311


d'enricher said...

Kuala Selangor Nature Park, nice write up, been there two years back. The tramp still there, eh, and those silver mongkeys, they come after you for food.

Just visiting for Tiger stories due the Tiger Blogfest 2010. Your site is # 52 of my Cyberspace marathon.

Best Regards.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

OMG! We'd like to visit this place...soon. My Mama said she was there like 15 years ago...wonder if any of those monkeys still remember her. She fed them peanuts! hahaha... purrr...meow!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Thank you for coming by, D'enricher. KSNP is an ideal daytrip destination now that it's all spruced up. I will do my Tiger Blogpost later this week. Thank you for the reminder.

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Do visit the Park when you are back in Malaysia, Kitties-in-Sydney! You will love the birds. The monkeys are nice, too.

Pat said...

Lovely post, as usual E. And as usual, you've added another place-name to my list of must-get-to places! ;)

My favourite bird is the black-naped Oriole - Oriolus chinensis! They visit us often, and we hear their brilliant song in our trees. And have you seen a more perfect yellow?! Simply love them.

~CovertOperations78~ said...

So good to have you here, Pat! Yes, KSNP is nice and peaceful but Chuan can't fish there. You can go to Pasir Penambang for seafood, though. I was wise enough to pack my own vegetarian food cos I figured it won't be easily available there.

Pak Idrus said...

Ee Lynn, a great writeup indeed. I did not know that such place exist and would try to visit it in the future.

Keep it up the good works.

Nature must be preserved at all cost. Our survival depend very much on it.

Take care.

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Thank you for your encouraging words, Pak Idrus! Am surprised you haven't been there before. It's only 70-80km from KL. The place used to be quite rundown but it's super now since the last General Elections thanks to the efforts of YB Eli Wong and Tan Sri Khalid! Now we have a Kuala Selangor the rakyat can be proud of!

louis said...

You take your readers to such interesting places, CO'78 and you give us opportunities to experience them from your unique perspectives. Thanks.

~CovertOperations78~ said...

How good of you to say so, Louis! Thank you from little ol' me. The places I visit are rarely posh, but always interesting, at least to me! And there is always something of environmental or social interest to report on. FYI, all the photos are taken using my cell phone.

Ellen Whyte said...

Looks like an amazing place. MUST GET OUT MORE!!!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Come with me, Ellen, Au and Target! I will take you to see the Park and the historical sites! And you can write a review on it! ;)

Unknown said...

What a great awareness for everyone and right in KSNP! I was there ages ago- must visit again. Glad to know of the new image of KSNP . I'm sure not only due credit to YB Eli Wong and Tan Sri Khalid but MNS too. Certainly remember the monkeys.

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear Keats,
Definitely the credit should go to MNS, the best volunteer-based environmental organisation ever! It's just that there were so many obstacles before -- all those illegal prawn farms edging in onto the fringes of the park, quiet dumping of waste, etc, and the previous government didn't do diddley-squat about it. The current State Government LISTENS and RESPONDS. For the rakyat, no response is too small. Kudos to MNS and the Selangor State Government, then!

sayangialam said...

Hi Ee Lynn,

Thanks for the write up. I linked this write up to my blog http://sayangialam.blogspot.com

Hashimi Ismail

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear Cikgu Hashimi,
Thank you for coming by! Thanks for taking the photo of me. I am sorry I don't have a photo of you in this post. I have photos of you taken during other MNS events. I think you can find them under the category of "MNS Ops". Oh, and Happy Teachers' Day! You are an excellent educator!

sayangialam said...

TQ Ee Lynn........'Happy Teachers Day'