USM, PENANG, 11 January 2017 – The University Recreation Park (Taman Rekreasi Universiti - TRU) is an important asset of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in further elevating its reputation as a university that champions sustainability issues.
According to the Coordinator of TRU, LAr Nor A’zam Shuib, among the objectives of developing TRU were to facilitate the management and administration of the asset of the university, as a source of income generation; establishing a recreational space which can double as a research site; readying an area for education-based recreational programmes such as camping, combat drills, jungle exploration, nature appreciation and leadership programmes among others.
"With an area covering 250 acres (87 hectares), TRU also serves as a fruit orchard and is in fact a secondary jungle encompassing 70% hilly areas and 30% flatland.”
"Among the activities which have been held at TRU included activities for uniformed bodies, student and staff associations and outdoor experiences such as camping for student societies and uniformed bodies, Scouts JAMBOREE, SISPA USM, PALAPES USM, HAINEX2014 programme, Sejahtera Walk, ‘gotong-royong’ activities and orchard leasing," he said.
He added that currently TRU provides basic facilities such as a hall, camping site, lavatories, water and electrical supplies, with the latest being a multipurpose hall and lavatories at the newly-readied camping site and which would be open to the university community.
"TRU could generate earnings through ecotourism and agrotourism activities as it has a large garden area and a strategic recreation space.
“It can be turned into an outdoor laboratory, research area and arboretum for education purposes as well as an agricultural area through contractual planting, having a high-quality fruit orchard, urban agrotecture and high-technology agricultural practice," he said.
Meanwhile, TRU Administrative Officer, Mohd Saifull Yunus said, TRU can be further developed if there are joint efforts established between TRU with external parties such as private nursery centres, State Agriculture Department, Farmers Board, Forestry Department, Youth and Sports Ministry and private companies.
"TRU is managed by the University Asset and Operations Office (PAO) and is supported by the Student Development Affairs and Alumni Division (BHEPA), University Development Department, Security Department, Legal Office, Centre for Co-Curriculum Programmes, and Sports and Recreation Centre," he explained further.
He added, if there is any party who would like to hold any activity at TRU, they can directly go to the University Asset and Operations Office (PAO) and fill in a request form to have an activity at TRU.
Translation: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin