Adoption of green space begins

Friends of Kota Damansara (FoKD) has decided to set up a Local Agenda 21 Task Force to adopt every green space available in Kota Damansara.

The adoption was made possible through a tie-up with the landscape department of Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) recently.

At a dialogue with the authority’s director, FoKD co-chairman Jeffrey Phang said their first task now is to identify the location of each public space.

“We will help (MBPJ) to maintain the space, inform them if there is any damage and engage the residents to take interest in the community.”

He said the task force will be a consolidated voice to deal with the authorities in a responsive manner.

“Sometimes it is hard for them to serve everyone whose agenda could be quite personal.

“But the task force will look into the whole plan of Kota Damansara to see how we can make it a livable and sustainable society.”

During the dialogue, director Zuraidah Sainan said that residents have the right to decide the features of their community playground and park.

“We encourage the public to come out with their ideal design, so the facilities erected will not be a white elephant,”

Zuraidah was quizzed on why palm trees are being planted on many roads although they are not shady and have low absorption of carbon and ozone.

The guest speaker Casey Ng responded that other considerations have been taken into account when choosing street trees.

“A big shady tree like Khaya senegalensis will have many leaves fall down and (leave a mess on) the street.

“But palm tree leaves are in bunches so the cleaning job would be much easier,”

The task force forum invited Zuraidah (far centre) and Casey (far right).

The environmental planner also said the choices of ‘big trees’ sometimes could end up in disaster.

“For instances Khaya and Pulai are both species planted for timber, they can grow until10m in diameter 80 feet in height, which are the wrong choice for an urban area that has little space on roadsides.

“You might find it shady during normal days but when there is a thunderstorm, you will start to panic about whether the tree will hit your car,” Ng said.

Jeffrey also said the kind of problem shows the role the task force could play in monitoring the overall landscape plan of the township.

“We hope a landscape plan should be attached when each development is proposed. The developer should have thought of how to coordinate the green space when they are building houses.

Meanwhile the task force is on track to build a 90X60 feet herbal garden at their first community forest- Kota Damansara Forest Park.

The project marked the partnership between the task force and MBPJ’s landscape department, where the latter has allocated RM20,000.

It will most likely be a multi-sensory garden where fragrant flowers such as Kesidang and Kenanga are planted.

“We wish to address everyone including the disabled community at the garden,” Jeffrey said.