Man and nature, side by side. That is the best words to describe Putrajaya Wetlands the first constructed freshwater wetland and deemed to be the largest in the tropics. Nevertheless, Putrajaya Wetlands is much more than just an efficient water filter. It has become to some extent the real thing, a functioning wetland, a site with available water and emergent vegetation attractive to varied wildlife.Putrajaya Wetlands is divided into 2 components - Taman Wetland Putrajaya and Lake Recreational Centre. Taman Wetland Putrajaya is very much the public face of the wetlands and serves as a gateway to Putrajaya Wetlands while the Lake Recreational Centre serves as a water recreational spot.In his paper, "Recreational and Educational Opportunities at Putrajaya Wetlands", Richard Lim Szu Ang, Director of Operation, Stagno Vic Sdn Bhd, said both Taman Wetland Putrajaya and Lake Recreational Centre offered various recreational and educational activities and have attracted numerous people who visited the places for different reasons. The most visited spots are the Look-out Tower, Nature Interpretive Centre and Flamingo Pond.The paper was presented at the two-day National Seminar on Constructed Wetland 2003 in December last year, organized by Perbadanan Putrajaya in collaboration with the Wetlands International, Middlesex University and co-sponsored by the British Council.In view of the increasing number of visitors, Lim said the current facilities there need to be upgraded and extended. He added that new amenities will be built in Taman Wetland Putrajaya and these include a tram system, camping ground, merbok ground, outdoor adventure playground and additional car park lots.The Nature Interpretive Centre will also be filled with interactive exhibits to enhance visitors learning and experience. It will also cater for the disabled by providing graded walking tracks and ramps. A camping ground will cater for larger groups and campers can pitch tents at designated areas only.Putrajaya Wetlands has also embarked on planning and implementing recreational and educational activities by adopting a holistic approach towards creating a premier eco-tourism park. It is also constantly revising and updating the programmes and activities to give better experience for its visitors.Lim said to ensure that visitors gain as much information about wetlands, each and every programme that it embarks applies the 3E concept, which is exist, explore and experience. In the Taman Wetland Putrajaya, for instance, visitors are able to understand, appreciate and enjoy the nature through education programmes and services that are exhibited at the Look-out Tower and Nature Interpretive Centre and other spots.The Lake Recreational Centre, on the other hand, proved to be the most suitable place for boat fishing, rowing boats, kayaking, canoeing and paddle boats. The lake also serves as a habitat for a variety of local fish species.In short, a field trip to Putrajaya Wetlands will enable one to observe and experience how the many parts of a wetland function. It can be studied in physical science, biology or even water chemistry units. There is also a range of camping opportunities and youth leadership camps for children and teenagers

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