Our first Open Day was held at the MNS HQ itself in January 2008, and it was such a success that we have since held 3 other Open Days -- at FRIM, the Shah Alam Agricultural Park and at Taman Lembah Kiara. We used to only have annual Members' Days in out-of-city-limits locations such as the Boh Tea Plantations in Cameron Highlands, but sometime in late 2007, the Committee decided that in the interests of public education and environmental outreach, we would conduct Open Days where members of the public and local community could participate in nature and conservation-related activities and have a sampling of the activities our Special Interest Groups have to offer.
This year also marks MNS' 70th Anniversary, and so it was appropriate for our Open Day to adopt the theme of "70 Years of Conserving Nature, Celebrating Life". Our Open Day this year focused on the call to cherish and protect our country's increasingly threatened wildlife and habitats.
As usual, we offered guided nature walks, the Single Rope Technique exercise, exhibition booths, campaign and petition booths, Arts and Crafts, face-painting stalls, activity booths by most of the Spesh Interest Groups and booths by partner organisations such as MYCAT and Wild Asia to bring home the urgency of saving our wildlife from loggers, poachers and infrastructural/agricultural expansion.
We also introduced new activities this year, including a Scavenger Hunt, a Storytelling Session (by my highly talented blog buddy Keats) and Stream Ecology sessions (conducted by Hashimi).
Since Lil, our preferred Master of Ceremonies, was indisposed due to wrist injury, I replaced her as the emcee, which wasn't an onerous role at all considering that I had offers of help from Cindy, Bernie and Ilyas. My other roles were in the planning and preparation of the Scavenger Hunt, photo exhibition, Green Living booth activities and Nature Quiz, all of which were finalised and running smoothly by the morning of the event, thanks to the help of competent volunteers.
The MNS Selangor Open Day was literally a walk in the park for visitors.
A sizeable crowd had gathered at the Arts and Crafts booth by mid-morning.
Interested members of the public learning more about our campaigns to stop the conversion of rainforests into latex timber clone plantations.
A young family had fun playing the Water Conservation board game at the Green Living booth.
Ben10 and family try their hands at the Green Living 3R Board Game.
The SPCA was invited to set up a booth as a partner organisation, but unfortunately City Hall would not grant them permission to bring in animals for adoption. The gang made a tidy sum from merchandise sales and donations, though.
I didn't get to participate in as many activities as I would like to, as I was stuck at the emcee booth making the announcements. I conducted a nature/conservation-oriented spot quiz around 1030 hrs and gave out prizes sponsored by the various Special Interest Groups. The Green Science Kits sponsored by the Green Living SIG were the most coveted prizes of all. These two young men were all smiles after winning a Potato Clock and Enviro Battery kit respectively. Well done, boys! Just add vegetables and water, and - voila! - you have your clocks and batteries!
32 teams registered for the Scavenger Hunt, which was flagged off at 1100 hrs. Teams had to look for and bring back (or photograph), among others, an epiphyte, a skeleton (animal or plant), a soil-improving plant and something which has no use in nature. One of the judges is seen here grading a team and awarding points for the correct items brought back.
Two of the Scavenger Hunt teams with their spoils! (Photo credits: Christopher Leo)
Keats got her audience involved in an interactive storytelling session about habitat destruction. Children and their parents are seen here playing out the role of the emergent canopy in a rainforest in Keats' original work, "Paradise Lost".
Keats and her young fans with the butterfly crafts they made using reused and salvaged materials. (Photo courtesy of Keats)
Happy trails is what you get when you go on a guided nature walk with our Nature Guides. (Photo credits: JC Tan)
I conducted a Nature Quiz for the children of Compassion Home. Many thanks to Ellen and the volunteers who brought the children to participate in our Open Day! (Photo credits: Alex Foong)
The event was officially over at 1400 hrs and Vegan Eugene, Mary and I were among the last to leave after tidying up, no thanks to the fact that Vegan Eugene spent hours trying to locate an LCD projector bag that didn't exist. The Cave Group gang was still around practicing climbing techniques around 1500 hrs, so the three of us accosted them and asked for the opportunity to do the Single Rope Technique.
The tighter the harness, the easier it is to climb.
Looka yonder! It's a spider monkey! It's a baboon! No... it's just me.
Two of the cavers caught in a compromising posish... Ooh la la... ha ha.
SH, one of the senior cavers, all kitted out to try out some new climbing and abseiling techniques. Cavers have the most fun. I really want to sign up for the Basic Caving Course next year. I've been putting it off for too long.
If you like what you see and you like what we do, please visit the links below!
* Join the Malaysian Nature Society and lend your voice to the protection and conservation of Malaysia's wildlife and green lungs!
* Learn more about Selangor Branch and find out what our upcoming activities are!
* Sign the petition to Save The Belum-Temenggor Forest Complex!
* Sign the petition to Protect the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge and Selangor State Park from the proposed Kuala Lumpur Outer Ring Road (KLORR)!
* Sign the petition to Conserve Langkawi Islands' Remaining Rainforests!
* Sign the petition to Save Peninsular Malaysia's Rainforests from conversion into Latex Timber Clone (LTC) Plantations!
Trees have no suffrage. We do! Please lend your voice and vote for better implementation and enforcement of conservation laws. We share the fate of our natural environment. A healthier Planet means a healthier human population. Thank you for your support!