Image source: https://www.myhealth.london.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/u4078/Golf%20in%20Epping%20Forest.jpg
At eight o'clock in the morning after ten minutes I parked my car near the entrance of Malabar City Forest, which is at T-junction of Jalan Malabar and Merbabu, Malang city. Apparently the gate is still closed. Parking the car there is also not quite fit, although the road there is rarely passed by the vehicle. There was a janitor who was passing around, I asked,
Not open yet, sir?
Usually already, Mom! Maybe soon.
Can pass behind, sir?
Can Bu, it's open there!
I also boarded my car and parked in an area near Oro-Oro Dowo Market, which has a car park and parking attendants. Maybe it was too early I came. The entrance of Malabar City Forest is two, which is facing between Jalan Malabar and Merbabu and facing between Guntur and Muria Road.
I entered through the opened back door. Paths that have been installed paving into a road guide to through the flow that passable visitors. Still lonely, I only met two young men who were photographs, an elderly father who walked early in the morning and a group of teenage girls who were resting because of jogging.
It was so shady at that location, tall trees lined up tightly in that place. The sounds of the various birds that were playing with his friends really seemed to blend with nature. Wow … the sensation of the forest really feels. And now I'm in the middle of Malang.
In Malabar street, Oro-oro Dowo urban village of Malang has always been an open space whose trees are allowed to grow tall until it resembles a forest. Not maintained due to wild growth irregular, some of which are not overgrown with trees as well. This place is functioned as a catchment area, and a playground for children around it.
But since 2013 began to encourage reforestation, since then the role of community and college began to encourage planting trees there. Until the current number of trees ranges from 1500 trees of various kinds. The history of the Malabar City Forest is on display at that location.
The trees began to thrive and meet there, until one day PT Amerta Indah Otsuka offered CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) funds to revitalize the Malabar City Forest. Initially emerged the pros cons of this plan. One of them is the fear of changing the function of Malabar City Forest, namely the cutting of trees and the removal of water absorption chamber. As a result the revitalization plan had stopped for a while. Until finally agreement can be reached, revitalization proceeds. On April 4, 2016 ago, Malabar City Forest was inaugurated by the Mayor of Malang Abah Anton with PT Amerta Indah Otsuka.From my observation, Malabar City Forest just seemed well preserved now. This location so has more value than ever before. The existence of Malabar City Board nameplate really attracts the visit of the people who pass by. Paving stone streets make visitors comfortable passing the Malabar City Forest area and do not damage the land.
Water absorption pond is still in the back. There are two plaques at this location, the designation for the roundabout that is the center of the intersection. Dumpster is available in various corner locations. There are also benches for visitors sitting and jogging tracks for the sports. The lights are also installed at this location.
If there had been no revitalization of the Malabar City Forest, I'm sure the public would just pass around it. There will be no interaction between the place and the human. Now we can enjoy the sensation of the forest with a walk in that location.
Before any revitalization the impression of slum, scary. After the revitalization, Malabar City Forest has become an attraction to visit and has more benefits. Entering the forest area Malabar City really feel like being in the forest, but not spooky. People can also reap benefits as a place of sports, relaxation, education and recreation.
Some of the trees there are identified and labeled names. But it also did not escape from the hands of ignorant who took off his name board. That's the challenge for the manager. There should be ongoing supervision and care. Still low awareness of some people to participate in maintaining public facilities. I heard from a radio broadcast in Malang that some time ago to accommodate people's complaints about the destruction of game equipment installed in city parks.
There are also complaints of the city park made a place of dating at night. To avoid the things that are not desired to be installed lights to illuminate. Though the lights were not good influence for plants and animals around the park. Currently quite a lot of city parks in Malang are also revitalized with CSR funds.
Supervision is still very necessary, because without supervision in a short time there may be items stolen or damaged. This is where the awareness is needed from the people of Malang in particular to be able to take care and maintain the facility. Worthless, if we just build, revitalize, but not balanced with the mental community to be mutually maintain and care for. The benefits are only obtained at the beginning, then dormant again.
The forest of Malabar City is only 16,178 m2. But the dense trees that are there bring visitors in the forest atmosphere. Forest in the middle of this city is clearly the lungs of the city. The existence of a reservoir pool there can be a rain water reservoir, as well as accommodate water from Oro-Oro Dowo area, as well as water as a place to drink for the animals around it.
If before the revitalization, the location seemed as separate from humans, can now merge with the people of Malang. The existence of this city forest will foster a sense of love and public awareness of the importance of green open space. Sensation of this city forest makes us feel relaxed while there, shady under the tall trees. The sounds of various birds seemed to tickle the mind.
Malabar City Forest Plan can be a guide for visitors to know the direction that is passed. Instructions on the benefits of jogging are also posted near the entrance from the Malabar Road. Toilets are also available as a facility for visitors, but the play area is not available here. This place is not worth to play for children. But for those of you who want to retire, seek inspiration, study together in open space, breathe fresh air will be a great place to be. Free entry.
As a resident of Malang, should be grateful because now there are many green open spaces in the form of parks and urban forests that are addressed and cared for by the municipal government of Malang. May citizens also become aware of their responsibility in maintaining cleanliness and not damage the available facilities.By: Majawati Oen