A canopy of green can serve as an antidote for frayed nerves, especially for those living in a city of steel and concrete. From an urban planning perspective, forests are valuable habitats and an essential source of carbon capture. Moreover, trees cool our surroundings and offset the heat impact of asphalt and combustion engines. These are just some of the reasons the Taman Tugu Project, a non-profit corporate social responsibility initiative led by Khazanah Nasional Berhad, was set up.
To help Taman Tugu conserve a 66-acre green lung in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, The Edge Malaysia has adopted three trees with a total donation of RM30,000. The campaign hopes to urge other corporate organisations to follow suit and support its mission to protect the urban forest park for the local community.
Located next to Tugu Negara, the Taman Tugu trail is in a serene environment with more than 5,000 indigenous trees. Those who have felt stifled staying indoors during the pandemic have been seeking refuge at the 6km forest trail, which is open daily to the public for free from 7am to 6.30pm. Even if one is not jogging or hiking, the park is an ideal spot for shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing” in Japanese, which is to empty one’s mind and take in nature with the senses.
Taman Tugu, also supported by various public sector agencies, private sector companies and civil-society organisations, not only works towards reducing our carbon footprint but also aims to establish a National Public Trust to own and manage the green lung and other potential heritage assets. This is to ensure that they are all publicly accessible as well as professionally managed and protected.
Apart from preserving 1,000 trees on site, Taman Tugu aims to add more than 4,000 mature trees. There are also plans to create a new public socio-recreational space, opening up more than 7km of trails for avid hikers and families to savour the sights and sounds of nature.
Education is key to cultivating a generation of nature lovers. As such, Taman Tugu hopes to instil an appreciation of our rainforest among the youth by establishing outdoor classrooms surrounded by trees, as well as various education programmes.
Although the incorporation of Amanah Warisan Negara provides an avenue to better protect our heritage assets into perpetuity, Taman Tugu still needs to become self-sustaining in order to operate independently.
Therefore, any donation made to Taman Tugu will be used to maintain the trees and trails, facilities and the safety and security crew; control waste as well as to engage with underprivileged communities.
Any individual or organisation can adopt a tree or a cluster of them in the Taman Tugu trails. Each tree is about 10ft (3m). You can also choose to put a personalised message on the tree signage.
All support and contributions to Taman Tugu is tax-exempt under sub-section 44(11C) Akta Cukai Pendapatan 1967.