The idea for a waterfall cleanup came after our first visit to Gunung Pulai earlier in March of this year. We fell in love with the Gunung due to its proximity to Singapore (45mins drive) and good food in the town of Kulai, just 15 mins away. The tranquility of the forest reserve and its undulating terrain make it a perfect spot to have a morning workout.
We were also disturbed to see in the midst of the beautiful, cascading Pulai falls a depressing sight: litter strewn all around. Used pampers, broken glasses, and leftover food boxes were not packed out to preserve the site. There were no maintenance capabilities from the local environmental office to remove the litter either.
The invitation for a members participation in the Trek For Hope – Eco Cleanup was extended in early April, and all 38 spots were filled within days. The itinerary started with a day hike at Gunung Pulai, followed by a comprehensive cleanup at the waterfalls. Our afternoon programme included lunch at Kulai Centrepoint, shopping at the Johor Premium Outlet stores, and ending the day with an eight-course dinner.
It was great catching up with old friends who have previously attended our Hope Trek series and meeting new friends who were joining us for the first time. It was also an honor having Fitbit – makers of the popular activity tracking wristbands, as the official sponsor for this event.
After some journey bus games with volunteer games master, Han Ping, we arrived at the foot of Gunung Pulai. Gunung Pulai Forest Reserve is a total area of 80 Sqm and is the nearest mountain to Singapore. Just a handful of our team that day had been here before, which made the experience mean even more to all of us who came to trek and work.
The weather was kind to us, and we were grateful to be hiking under the canopy of trees on the dry jungle trail. Everyone in the team made it to the summit, which only served to enhance the joy of the day. It took us about an hour to make it to the waterfall area where the cleanup began in earnest.
The littering condition looked no better than the first time we visited in March. There was a group of merry makers and some families enjoying the coolness of the waterfall, oblivious to the large amount of rubbish around them. The experience was a direct parallel to our community trips where it is common to see families suffering in some communities, yet have little assistance offered from the government and its people.
At Trek For Hope, our aim is to help raise awareness to the community and environment in places we visited with our voice, our words, and our action. In this instance at Gunung Pulai, we called upon nature lovers and regular visitors to come together and help us clean up and preserve Pulai Falls for everyone to enjoy
Gunung Pulai Recreational Forest is an alluring place. Together we can help to keep it that way.
Event pics (best viewed on a desktop)
Please visit and like our Trek For Hope Facebook page at www.fb.com/TrekForHope to stay in touch.