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)
Tel : (603) 3289 2294
Fax : (603) 3289 4311