There are many historical relics in the city of Surabaya which is now popular as a historical and cultural tourist destination. However, it turns out that there is also land containing fertile and beautiful bamboo forests. The bamboo forest is called the Whitish Bamboo Forest.
For information, bamboo has an important economic value in Indonesia. Some examples of the use of bamboo can be found in building materials, as a food source, and as a versatile raw product. Bamboo is a non-timber forest product plant (HHBK) with the highest number based on data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in 2019.
The Origin of the Whitish Bamboo Forest
Whitish Bamboo is located on Jalan Raya Marina Asri, Keputih, Sukolilo District, Surabaya City. Launching from the Surabaya City Government (Pemkot) website, this forest was once a landfill. However, the Surabaya city government moved the landfill to the Benowo area in 2000. The vacant land was converted into a green open space as well as a tourist destination. Now, the Whitish Bamboo Forest is crowded with tourists. To preserve the bamboo forest, the Surabaya City Government formed a Task Force (Satgas) which aims to maintain and preserve the Whitish Bamboo Forest. The task force consists of 15 people.
Whitish Bamboo Forest Atmosphere
According to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, there are 125 types of bamboo in Indonesia and 39 types of them have been identified. Of these, there are 11 types that are classified as commercial types. However, until now there is no official source that identifies the types of bamboo plants in the Whitish Bamboo Forest. Some bamboo groups that are often developed in Indonesia are the
Bambusa, Dendrocalamus and Gigantochloa species. The atmosphere of the Whitish Bamboo Forest presents a beautiful and green beauty. With tall bamboo sticks looming, visitors can feel the shady atmosphere along the way. When there is sunlight infiltrating between the gaps in the bamboo
trees, a mystical nuance appears as if it was carried away to another world. Access roads in the Whitish Bamboo Forest feel more natural because the road is still natural, not using asphalt or paving blocks.
Benefits of Whitish Bamboo Forest
Whitish Bamboo Forest located close to downtown Surabaya can provide many benefits such as:
- Maintain a healthy body in
A study conducted by Sichuan Agricultural University’s College of Landscape Architecture, viewing and walking activities in a bamboo forest environment are beneficial in terms of effectively lowering blood pressure, slowing heart rate, and maintaining oxygen saturation. Visiting bamboo forests can also relieve physical stress and stabilize emotions so that they can maintain a healthy body
- Increasing the volume of water underground
Based on research by I. Made Budiasa, I. G. N. Alit Wiswasta, and I. Dewa Nyoman Raka from Mahasaraswati University Denpasar, bamboo plants have very strong rhizome roots. This root structure allows bamboo to bind soil and water well. Compared to trees that only absorb 35-40% rainwater, bamboo can absorb rainwater up to 90% thereby significantly increasing the volume of water underground.
- Conserving water resources
Bamboo can absorb rainwater up to 90% so that it can help in the preservation of water resources. Not only that, in a day, bamboo can increase in length by 30-90 cm and reach adulthood at the age of 3-6 years. Bamboo planting does not require large costs because bamboo plants are folk plants that are easy and cheap to get.
- Absorbing carbon dioxide
Bamboo absorbs more carbon dioxide than woody plants or fruits. Studies show that one hectare of bamboo plants can absorb more than 12 tons of carbon dioxide in the air. By conserving bamboo forests, carbon dioxide is also absorbed more so that carbon emissions can be reduced and global
warming can be prevented. Therefore, the Whitish Bamboo Forest is not only beautiful to enjoy but has an important role for the environment and health. It is located not far from the city center so it is easily accessible from anywhere.
Writed by Novi Indah Permata Sari, ST.,M.Sc