Kuala Selangor: A Tree Planting Weekend!


Raja Musa Pit Swamp Forest Rehabilitation Program

I have been itching to do some charity for quite a while but always put it off because I’m not really sure where and what to donate to. When I read an email from our colleague that we will be doing a tree planting activity as volunteers, at the Raja Musa Peat Swamp Forest Rehabilitation program, I jumped with joy! We will also be donating to the Global Environmental Centre (GEC) for their Forest Care Fund which is a fund created for all forms of forest which they closely finance. Our journey took us 1 and a half hours by bus and the early morning ride made me doze off for a bit, especially after our yummy breakfast-on-the-bus!

When we finally arrived, we walked for about 3 km into the peat swamp area because the bus couldn’t go in with the small, narrow & swampy road but those we were driving mother-truckers or 4-wheeler shot past us while we were basking in nature’s beauty. A billboard said “Lets Plant Trees!” and this was in 2009. I wished they made a more decent signage that shows how proud they were to be apart of the project because this one says “I’m tired of standing here by myself & I feel old and unwanted” to me.

The billboard says "Lets Plant Trees!" and this was in 2009.

The billboard says “Lets Plant Trees!” and this was in 2009.

The 200 baby sampling that would be planted for the trip.

The 200 baby sapling that would be planted for the trip.

Time to get dirty and green. 

Matthias Gelber, The World’s Greenest Man (awarded in 2008) provided the briefing on how to plant the baby tree the correct way. First find a suitable place (3 feet away from each new plant), hold the plant at its base (not by the stems), tear open the plastic wrap making sure not to pull the roots along, place the tree in the hole (at least 6 inc into the ground) and cover it back with soil. It was quite easy to understand!

We chose our gloves, shovels and got ready to walk across the muddy waters in our boots. Oh be prepared to get your own boots or you can use the ones that are available during the program. We bought ours but donated it to the Group at the end of the day where someone else is able to be in our feet and do good deeds just like us.

There were more than 200 saplings to be planted around the area. We never know whether all of them will survive but we hope that they will grow up to be amazing plants that give shelter and conserve the area. It’s not easy to work under the bright sun and I felt a bit dizzy after awhile due to dehydration. I also turned a shade darker for some reason (which had nothing to do with a beach & white sand).

By noon, most of the trees were planted and as we gulped down lots of cool chilling drinks, we realized how hard it is to plant each sapling in this condition which we’re not used to. It was a bit uncomfortable & hot but at the end of it all, we have more appreciation & understanding of nature. I also wouldn’t want to chop down any trees anytime soon because it’s not easy to replant them! Thank you GEC for this wonderful experience which I hope we’ll be able to do again.

Matthias Gelber, The World's Greenest Man (awarded in 2008) briefing us.

Matthias Gelber, The World’s Greenest Man (awarded in 2008) briefing us.

These boots are made for mud and swamp!

These boots are made for mud and swamp!

Finding a nice spot for the baby sapling before planting them.

Finding a nice spot for the baby sapling before planting them.

Here's to growing tall and strong!

Here’s to growing tall and strong!

More about the GEC – Rehabilitation Program

The North Selangor Peat Swamp Forest (NSPSF) is located in the north western part of the Selangor State and it covers an area of 73,392 hectares. It consists of Raja Musa Forest Reserve (RMFR) and Sungai Karang Forest Reserve with an area of 23,486 hectares and 50,106 hectares respectively. (Source: GEC Website)

About Yafieda Jamil

A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.

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