The Singapore Botanic Gardens’Seed Bank is Singapore’s first seed bank and will conserve the seeds of threatened plant species from Southeast Asia. Works for the seed bank are expected to be completed by mid-2019.
The seed bank will play a key role in conserving plant diversity in the region and ensure the growth of the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ plant collection. The seed bank will have the capacity to store seeds from up to 25,000 species of plants. This is around half the total number of seed plant species in Southeast Asia, and nearly triple the 9,000 species of plants that the Gardens currently has in its living collection. When established, the seed bank targets to achieve 100 seed collections per year.
The facility will be established in House 4, the largest of five colonial-style houses within the Raffles College. Originally named Mansfield Lodge, it served as the college president’s residence when it was built in the 1920s. This house was designated as a Conserved Building in October 2006. Read more about this project here.
Want to know what goes on inside a Community in Bloom (CIB) Community Garden here in Singapore? At the Leng Kee CC Sky Community Garden, there are more than 60 species of edibles, ornamental and biodiversity-enhancing plants at its newly renovated rooftop! The Women Executive Committee (WEC) helps to maintain this community garden and regularly harvests herbs and spices for cooking demonstrations in their community kitchen next to the garden. The food is then shared with interest groups and members of the public.
Put your horticulture skills to good use and contribute to the unique green ambience of Singapore through Nparks' ‘Community In Bloom’ programme!
Launched in May 2005 and first carried out at Mayfair Park Estate, the Community in Bloom nationwide gardening movement aims to foster a community spirit and bring together residents, both young and old, to make Singapore our garden. Today, CIB has close to 1,000 community gardens across Singapore that have engaged over 20,000 residents.
Jurong Lake Gardens West focuses on nature, play and the community. It is currently under construction. When it opens in 2019, the public will be able to see a restored swamp forest and wetlands, a nature-themed play area, allotment gardens, lifestyle and sports facilities, and F&B options.
One of the key design concepts for Jurong Lake Gardens West is the Heron Island.
Herons are among the wildlife living in the Jurong Lake area. Platforms will be installed on Heron Island to encourage roosting and nesting, away from human disturbance. Enhancing habitats for wildlife and keeping the tranquility of the area are key considerations in the development of Jurong Lake Gardens West, enabling visitors to enjoy nature and biodiversity.
Children can look forward to Forest Ramble, a nature-themed play area that will capture their fascination for plants and animals. Forest Ramble will comprise varied adventure play experiences for children to mimic the actions of animals – from crawling through a “squirrel’s nest” to gliding through a tree canopy.
The new entrance pavilion at the north carpark will serve as an arrival point to introduce visitors to the Gardens. The multiple columns of the pavilion are inspired by the hanging aerial roots of the many Ficus trees found within the Gardens.
Looking for a space to nurture your green fingers? NParks provides allotment gardening plots at various parks for anyone who wishes to have their own space to garden.
Allotment gardens offer plots of land to individuals to rent for growing their own plants. Following the initial success of the pilot scheme at HortPark, new allotment gardening plots will be introduced in 10 more parks islandwide over the next two years. By 2019, more than 1,000 allotment garden plots will be available to the community.
Each allotment plot consists of a 2.5 m x 1 m raised planter bed, and can be leased for three years at a charge of $57/year (excluding GST).
Three historical gardens will be recreated as part of efforts to restore the rich heritage of Fort Canning Park and its surroundings. The three gardens within and around Fort Canning Park make up the heritage landscapes of Fort Canning Hill, and include Singapore’s first botanic garden. The National Parks Board (NParks) will create these gardens as part of sensitive enhancements to Fort Canning Park to emphasise Fort Canning’s historical features. Enhancements will be accompanied by the introduction of a greater variety of education and outreach programmes, and enhanced accessibility to the park.
Fort Canning Centre will also be repurposed as a gallery for visitors to learn more about the history of the hill and its surroundings. Members of the public are invited to volunteer at park programmes and give suggestions on the upcoming enhancements.
As one of Singapore’s two National Parks, Fort Canning Park is deeply rooted in history, from the time of the 14th century kings to the founding of modern Singapore. The enhancements will highlight the significance of Fort Canning Hill and retrace the history of Singapore across the 14th, 19th and 20th centuries.
The heritage landscapes of Fort Canning Hill and its surroundings will be restored and weaved seamlessly into Fort Canning Park with the creation of three gardens, namely the Royal Garden, the First Botanic Garden, and Jubilee Park.
The First Botanic Garden, which was established by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1822 to also serve as an experimental garden, will extend from Fort Canning Park onto the streetscapes of roads bounded by Hill Street, Victoria Street, Bras Basah Road, Handy Road and Canning Rise. As part of the First Botanic Garden, a large part of Armenian Street will be pedestrianised and turned into a park featuring plants that were introduced as economic crops for the spice trade, food and horticulture. Economic crops such as nutmeg were cultivated in the First Botanic Garden before they were propagated across Singapore in the 1800s. The new park at Armenian Street is part of a multi-agency effort by URA, NParks, PUB, LTA, NHB and NAC in close collaboration with stakeholders within the vicinity to create new vibrant public spaces that visitors can enjoy. The new park at Armenian Street and wider sidewalks along Coleman Street will also enable visitors to walk comfortably from Armenian Street to Civic District, linking Fort Canning Park, Bras Basah.Bugis and the Civic District together into an expanded arts, cultural and heritage district.
NParks is also planning a greater variety of education and outreach programmes, including re-curation of existing heritage trails of the 14th and 19th centuries. These trails will be enhanced to interpret the rich history of Fort Canning Park and feature new nodes. The 14th century trail will feature the Forbidden Spring or Pancur Laranganwhich is believed to be the bathing site of the royals. The refreshed 19th century trail will feature the restored Raffles Garden and Farquhar Garden, which will showcase plants collected and documented by Sir Stamford Raffles and Singapore’s First Resident William Farquhar through their botanical explorations.
“Jubilee Park” will be restored where the King George V Jubilee Park was originally located at the junction of River Valley Road and Clemenceau Avenue. The park will avail more outdoor family-friendly venues for arts and culture activities in a garden setting. New amenities will include play features, a landscaped theatre and an event lawn.
Find out more about this restoration project here.
Sembawang Hot Spring, the only hot spring on mainland Singapore, will be developed into a community park 10 times its current size.
The Sembawang Hot Spring was discovered in 1908 on the grounds owned by a Chinese merchant, Seah Eng Keong. Since then, the land has changed hands a few times. It was once a thermal bathhouse for Japanese soldiers, after their occupation of Singapore during World War II.
Sembawang Hot Spring holds many memories for the community that has used it over the years. The design of the new Sembawang Hot Spring Park is shaped by the 'kampung-like' environment and will be kept rustic with various spaces where visitors can gather & enjoy the activities in this unique park. The design will be further refined with ideas and suggestions received from the public.
Work on the park will begin in early 2018 and are expected to be completed by 2019.
At 14 storeys high, the turbine comes with three 10.5-metre long-span rotor blades that produces an electrical output rating of 100 kilowatts, enough to power 45 four-room HDB units a year.
The wind turbine is also sensitive enough to generate power even with wind speeds as low as 3 metres/second, up to a maximum of 20 metres/second.
In partnership with French multinational electric utility company ENGIE, the new turbine is part of NTU’s Renewable Energy Integration Demonstrator – Singapore (REIDS) initiative being built at Semakau Landfill. Under this initiative, several hybrid microgrids will be developed in the coming years, producing enough energy to power 100 four-room HDB flats for a whole year.
Along with the wind turbine, each of the hybrid microgrid will integrate with various renewable energy sources such as solar, tidal, diesel, and power-to-gas technologies. Currently, over 4,500 square metres of photovoltaic (PV) panels, large-scale lithium-ion energy storage systems as well as a hydrogen refuelling station are already operating on the island. Each of the microgrid is expected to produce stable and consistent power in the half-megawatt range, suitable for small islands, isolated residential areas, and emergency power supplies. The microgrids will eventually occupy over 64,000 square metres of land or roughly about nine soccer fields.
The Therapeutic Garden at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is situated near the pond gardens and was launched on 19 September 2017.
Therapeutic Gardens are outdoor gardens designed to meet the physical, psychological and social needs of park users, incorporating design principles derived from scientific evidence.
Together with therapeutic horticulture programmes involving plants and nature, visitors can experience a range of health benefits such as the relief of mental fatigue, reduced stress and an overall improvement to emotional well-being.
The garden is specially designed to engage the senses with a landscape of plants divided into four zones: Fragrance zone, Biodiversity zone, Edibles and Medicinal zone and Colours and Textures zone.
The 900sqm Therapeutic Garden at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park has design elements and user-friendly features to meet the needs of the elderly, including those with conditions such as dementia. It also provides respite for visitors of all ages.
The greenery and sensory aspects in the garden will provide visitors with a rehabilitative environment, providing relief from attention fatigue and stress. This is complemented by an outdoor activity area where therapeutic horticulture programmes will be carried out. Each session is about 1.5 hours and the activities are designed to stimulate participants’ senses and memories through nature interaction, and to encourage motor and hand-eye coordination.