WHAT used to be an illegal dumpsite in Ayer Itam, Penang, is now a smart garden of lush greenery.
The green lung in Jalan Padang Tembak has over 20 types of vegetables and herbs like brinjal, cabbage, spinach, kangkung and pennywort, planted on dirt beds and hydroponic tubes.
There is also an aviary to house colourful budgerigars (parakeets) and a rainwater harvester tank in the corner of the garden to irrigate the vegetable beds.
Five primary school pupils have made decorations using recyclable materials and these items are showcased at the park.
Penang Island City Council secretary Addnan Mohd Razali said the garden would be managed by the Kampung Baru Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) under the Smart Green Community programme.
“This programme is a combination of agriculture activities, development and usage of green energy and recyclable items.
“By harnessing the resources, we can help protect the environment.
“We hope other JKKKs will be inspired by this garden,” he said before launching the garden recently.
Also present were Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng who is also Air Putih assemblyman, Bukit Bendera MP Wong Hon Wai and Air Itam assemblyman Joseph Ng.
Wong, in his speech, recalled how he had to walk past the illegal dumpsite on his way to school at SMJK Chung Ling when he was living in a Rifle Range flat.
“I’m so glad to see positive changes in this neighbourhood,” he said.