Malabar City Forest looks more colorful now
FORESTS are identical to spooky places and inhabited by wild animals. However, five students of University of Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM) make forest no longer seems scary instead of the other way around. They make it as a cheerful and fun place, even becomes educational tourism place. That is what Malabar City Forest which is located in Malang, East Java looks like now.
Those five students are Mohammad Arifin Murian, Nurna Hidayati Ningsih, Racha Pratama Supriyadi, Nurwahyudi and Sahara Fristy Mirandani. Through the Student Creativity Research Program (PKM-P), they successfully create an innovation by putting some forest accessories such as colorful umbrella, lanterns, and hanging mattresses (hammock).
The chief of PKM-P team, Mohammad Arifin Murfian stated that those accessories are provided to add the aesthetic value and make Malabar city forest more colorful. Besides, they also provide a stick to take picture (read:tongsis) and a photo board with persuasive sentences to attract visitors to come there. The visitors can use those facilities for free. “We believe that by providing all of those things can increase the number of visitors to come, especially students”.
Umbrellas and lanterns can reinvigorate the forest. Besides, visitors usually take picture where umbrellas and lanterns are placed. By taking a theme “Self Portrait Therapy for Ecotourism System Implementation in Malabar City Forest Area of Malang as Tourist Attraction”, Arifin and his friends want to brand and promote Malabar City Forest to the public.
Furthermore, Arifin explained that he and his team give education to visitors about the function of forest as a lung of the earth, birds’ habitat, and greening education. Arifin who is a student of Forestry department in UMM said that most people in society do not have a good understanding about function of forest. “After we did a survey, we know that most of people still do not know how important a forest in the middle of the city. So, we think that we should give education to them”.
Moreover, Malabar City Forest can also be utilized by the people for resting, chatting and even being used for sports. For Arifin and his team, all the facilities created are a real action of students as agents of change that can benefit the community. "The result of this research is one of our real contributions to the people in society about the importance of maintaining and protecting forest in the middle of the city," he concluded. (Jal / han)