Nurturing a green community

Launch of USJ14 gazebo

It used to be an illegal rubbish dump but is now a thriving ‘green lung’ amid highrise buildings.

And all it took was a little ‘gotong-royong’ spirit from the residents of USJ14 to turn it into an award-winning ‘taman’.

Yesterday, the community celebrated another first with the opening of its own gazebo. This comes a month after it won second place in the first National Landscape Department competition under the national community parks category.

Opening ceremony of gazebo
All smiles during the opening ceremony of the gazebo in USJ14. Image by Twentytwo13

The USJ 14 Community Garden has certainly come a long way in the eight months since it was set up.

Many had predicted it would fail as there was no water or electricity supply.

But neighbourly fellowship prevailed with one Court 8 resident supplying what was needed via metres and metres of hoses and many extension cords.

“All these efforts were because the residents wanted to have a corner for themselves,” said USJ 14 Community Garden secretary general Muhammad Adam Adan.

“Everything you see here – from the plants to the greenhouse to the gazebo – is all done by the residents.

“Everyone pitched in, from young children to the golden oldies. It is our ‘home away from home’.”

Newly elected community garden chairman V. Paramsivam, or commonly known as Simon, said the residents can use the gazebo for free.

“But there will be a donation box for those who feel they want to contribute towards the upkeep of the gazebo garden,” said Paramsivam, who will also teach yoga for free at least once a month.

Paramsivam said their success would not have been possible without the support of Subang Jaya Municipal Council councillor Lee Jen Uyin, who helped them secure the plot of land.

The council has also been a strong supporter as has the Selangor Agriculture Department, Universiti Putra Malaysia and even the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority.

“Jasmine Food Corporation Sdn Bhd also played a big part and partly sponsored the building of the gazebo,” added Paramsivam.

Adam, meanwhile, said one of the reasons for their win at the National Landscape Department competition was because of the activities held.

USJ 14 community garden
Children enjoying a meal near the USJ14 community garden. Image by Twentytwo13

“Our garden is not yet matured but we scored some points for getting the community involved in many activities.”

One such activity was a talk by personnel from a nearby fire station who showed the residents how to use a fire extinguisher.

They even took some children for a ride on the fire truck.

Present at the opening of the gazebo were Subang MP Wong Chen, Subang Jaya assemblyman Michelle Ng and Kinrara assemblyman Ng Sze Han.