KUCHING: The Sama Jaya Forest Park, one of the few green lungs within urban Kuching, is popular as one of the locations to exercise while appreciating the beauty of nature.
Located at Lorong Setia Raja 14a, Taman Rimba here, the park also serves as an important research centre as it has more than 80 species of plants and herbs from throughout Sarawak.
The Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) said the main objectives of the establishment of the park were nature conservation and education.
“Despite its suburban location, Sama Jaya is a rich reservoir of indigenous wildlife. The wide variety of small mammals, reptiles and amphibians found here includes two squirrel species, a shrew, three rat species, fruit bats, tarsiers, nine frog species, three lizard species, a tortoise and 20 bird species. There are also occasional sightings of various monkey species.
“Apart from that, a viewing tower gives visitors a panoramic vista of the area.
“About a 10-minute drive from the city centre, visitors can also get a taste of Japan in the Hiroshima-Sarawak Friendship Garden.
“In addition, Sama Jaya’s two jogging tracks are among the most popular in Kuching. At 870m and 1,600m respectively, the tracks cater for both beginners and serious joggers as well as offer a variety to regular users.
“Both tracks wind their way through attractive forest scenery, promoting a sense of oneness with nature while you exercise,” SFC said, adding that visitors could also rest or take shelter from bad weather at any of its 13 shelters situated along the jogging tracks.
Apart from the jogging tracks, visitors also have other ways to get healthy — through its reflexology park or ‘Path of Good Life’, a pebble path that visitors can walk barefoot on to stimulate the reflexology points on the feet and promote wellbeing.
For companies or families who want to do their outdoor activities, Sama Jaya Forest Park also provides an open-air meeting place, ideal for group functions such as outdoor lectures, discussions as well as social gatherings such as family day and it can accommodate up to 200 people at a time.
Apart from that, it also has a visitor centre, which houses an audio-visual theatre, an exhibition room and a conference room, which are available for use by local organisations, as well as a viewing tower and the park’s administrative office.
To ensure that the park is always preserved, SFC has made improvements in terms of signage and other facilities in the park late last year.