Dozens of residents in Kesiman village gathered at the Luhur Dalem Mutering Jagat Temple on Sunday to preserve the site of worship. They planted at least 1,500 trees provided by the government and helped conserve water sources in the 5-hectare area, carrying shovels, hoes and sickles. There were more than 10 types of plants, including durian, jackfruit and coconut, and other trees, parts of which are useful for ceremonial purposes. “We plan to add 1.5 hectares of wooded area through this program,” said the temple’s spiritual leader I Wayan Duana.
In addition to greening the temple area, he said the activity was a start to conserve several water sources located at the northern side of the temple. The Denpasar-owned tap water company, PDAM, is one of the parties utilizing these sources. Duana hoped that the temple would become a source of welfare to the community. To the local people, the temple is more than just a place of worship, it is also somewhere that must be protected. The sound of the water running along the nearby Tukad Ayung river, which is clean of waste, makes the location feel calm.
“The beauty has enticed several couples to take their pre-wedding pictures here,” said Tri Aditya, one of the initiators of the greening program. Using the site for photography is allowed by requesting permission from the caretakers and giving a donation to the temple. The backgrounds used are normally the Bentar Temple, which still has its original bricks, or the woodland within the premises. There is also a steel bridge connecting the temple to the parking lot and PDAM’s water processing plant. Dozens of the youths wearing shorts gathered with their elders, dressed in Balinese kamben (a long cloth worn from waist to ankle) during the event.
Some children rode their bicycles and others fished in the river. Aditya said he invited many Denpasar youths to be involved in the greening program and the temple conservation. “It’ll be nice to have the temple as a place for them to gather, not just during ceremonies,” he said. “They can also jog and trek here,” he said. Aditya said that the temple’s surroundings also needed attention. As well as supporting the environment, the youths could understand the history of their ancestors by getting involved in managing the temple.
The tree planting activity was carried out independently, without the involvement of local officials. Planting trees in the rainy season is a good time for growth. Data shows that Bali lacks green areas. The spatial planning bylaw requires at least 30 percent of the area be designated for green spaces.
source : bali daily