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.
Located near various eldercare and senior activity centres, the 750sqm Therapeutic Garden @ Tiong Bahru Park is designed to be elderly-friendly. It provides a holistic rehabilitative environment for conditions including dementia. The Garden also helps to relieve stress and brings restorative effects to the mental well-being of visitors of all ages.
The design elements in Therapeutic Garden @ Tiong Bahru Park are similar to the garden in HortPark. It has a simple and clear garden layout, seats facing different directions to provide various views, and the profusion of plants with colour, texture and scents to stimulate the senses. An area specifically designed for gardening with customised benches for potting makes it more convenient for the elderly and wheelchair users to participate in gardening, which improves their health and mental well-being.
The Garden also has raised planter beds of two heights to cater to different groups of visitors. The raised planter beds at a lower height encourages wheelchair users to interact with plants and flowers, while the taller raised planter beds enables seniors who have difficulty bending to do gardening while standing.
A rich variety of plants has been arranged in different zones to evoke visitors’ senses as they move along the pathway.
NParks developed and curated the St John’s Island Trail to encourage public appreciation for its rich biodiversity and the history of St John’s Island and Sisters’ Islands Marine Park. The trail is part of NParks’ outreach initiatives on marine biodiversity under NParks’ Nature Conservation Masterplan, which consolidates Singapore’s biodiversity conservation efforts to help achieve Singapore’s City in a Garden vision.
The 2.8 km St John’s Island Trail comprises 15 stations marked with signboards that serve as both station markers and educational resources, highlighting the diversity of flora and fauna as well as the island’s colourful history.
St John’s Island is rich in local history. Since 1604, the island was marked on explorers’ maps. The island was planted extensively with crops in the mid-19th century, before it became a quarantine centre. In 1948, parts of the island were converted into a detention centre for political prisoners such as C. V. Devan Nair, who later became Singapore’s third President. From the 1970s onwards, the island has been mainly used for recreation and is popular with beach-goers and picnickers. Today, it serves as a base for marine research.
When you are on the island, try spotting Singapore’s tallest bird (1.15 m), the Great-billed Heron. It uses its dagger-like bill to spear large fish. This species is locally critically-endangered due to habitat loss.
Jurong Lake Gardens (JLG) is envisioned to be Singapore’s new national gardens in the heartlands, a people’s garden for leisure and recreation, and a model for sustainability in green development.
The 90-hectare gardens will comprise JLG West, JLG Central and JLG East. JLG West is currently undergoing development, and is scheduled to be completed in 2018. JLG Central and JLG East will be completed from 2020 onwards.
You can begin to enjoy JLG West from 2018! Look out for a meandering boardwalk that will bring people closer to nature, a nature-themed play area for kids, and a community lifestyle and water sports facility for activities such as kayaking and dragon boating.
JLG will be the first national gardens in the heartlands. It will complement two existing world-class national gardens – Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG) and Gardens by the Bay (GB). SBG’s strength lies in its botanical emphasis, research and heritage value, whilst GB’s strength is in its themed gardens and sustainability efforts. JLG’s focus is to be a people’s garden accessible to all segments of the community.
JLG will be a unique leisure and recreation destination amongst the other major parks including East Coast Park, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and Pasir Ris Park, and is strategically located to serve the western region of Singapore.
JLG is a vital green infrastructure that contributes to Jurong Lake District’s vision to be ‘a leading model for Singapore in developing a mixed-use urban district that is sustainable, smart and connected’. It will feature sustainable design systems and smart technologies that enable sustainable operation.
With more than 100 species of native plants on-site, the enhanced Native Garden @ HortPark by The National Parks Board (NParks) has the highest concentration of native plants, including edibles, shrubs and trees, in a single location in Singapore.
The Garden aims to promote the use of native plants in gardens and will provide visitors with a wealth of information on their uses (for food, medicine and timber), how they support native fauna, how they can be used in landscapes, and how to grow them.
The Native Garden features different landscapes that showcase native plants in their various natural habitats, and demonstrates how native plant species can be effectively used for urban landscaping. Aiming to provide an immersive experience, visitors will be able to see the Lasia spinosa in its native aquatic habitat, and the Lumnitzera littorea in its native mangrove habitat. These landscapes also provide habitats for fauna. In the rainforest zone, the running water from a man-made stream and the use of a combination of logs and rocks help to mimic a rainforest habitat conducive for insects, small mammals, reptiles and birds.
Visitors will also be able to explore the five zones where plants are categorised based on how they are used – as medicine, food, timber or to enhance habitats for birds and butterflies. Rare species such as the Nephelium maingayi, which has edible fruits that resemble hairless rambutans and taste like rambutans, can be found in the Food Zone, while the Knema globularia, which is found in the Bird Zone, has fruits that are eaten by the Oriental Pied Hornbill.
This project marks another step towards water sustainability. When completed in 2020, it will produce up to 30 million gallons of fresh drinking water per day.
Leveraging its close proximity to the sea and reservoir to enhance water supply resilience, the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant is poised to be a lush green gem along the Eastern Park Connector Network with its innovative design.
Keppel Infrastructure Holdings Pte Ltd (Keppel Infrastructure) and PUB, Singapore's national water agency, have unveiled the innovative design of the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant, Singapore's fourth desalination plant, at its groundbreaking ceremony conducted recently at the Marina Barrage.
The first of its kind in Singapore, the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant will be a large-scale dual-mode desalination plant in Singapore that can treat both seawater and freshwater. Depending on wet or dry weather conditions, water is channelled either from the Marina Reservoir or the sea to the plant, where it will be treated.
The plant also achieves multiple uses of land, with underground treatment facilities and 20,000 square metres (sqm) of open green space on the rooftop for community recreation.
All of the plant's water treatment equipment will be located underground, topped off by a gently sloping green lawn as its roof.
The desalination plant will also incorporate environmentally friendly features such as rainwater harvesting. Rainwater collected will be used to irrigate the green roof and support the facility's water features and landscaping needs.
Nature reserves are protected areas of rich biodiversity that are representative sites of key indigenous ecosystems. To safeguard the native flora and fauna in these areas, there are special restrictions on the activities that can be carried out.
As part of a holistic conservation approach, some nature parks have been established on the margins of the Nature Reserves to act as green buffers.
The National Parks Board (NParks) has unveiled plans for a new 67-hectare Rifle Range Nature Park, which will serve as the southern buffer park for Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and is expected to be completed in 2020
The 67-hectare Rifle Range Nature Park is located at the southern end of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. As a buffer park, Rifle Range Nature Park will help to reduce visitorship pressure on Bukit Timah Nature Reserve by providing interesting alternative venues for the public to enjoy nature-related activities.
Being next to the nature reserve, Rifle Range Nature Park provides complementary forest habitat for biodiversity from Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Surveys indicate that native flora species growing in the nature reserve can be seen at the fringe of the nature park. Visitors may be able to chance upon native fauna species such as the Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica) and Horsfield’s Flying Squirrel (Lomys horsfieldii). Native crabs, frogs, fishes and snakes can also be seen in the slow-flowing sandy streams.
Visitors will be able to experience the canopies of a regenerating secondary forest through a Sky Garden. It is an elevated walkway that provides a seamless experience from Beauty World to the Sin Seng Quarry.
The former Sin Seng Quarry will be sensitively enhanced to support the rich biodiversity in the area. The quarry was once one of the deepest quarries in Singapore (55 metres at its deepest point), but has since been backfilled. It will be transformed into a freshwater habitat with alook-out point for visitors to appreciate marsh birds.
Hiking trails with varying levels of difficulty will also be added to give visitors a chance to learn more about the history of quarrying in Singapore and the heritage highlights within the site.
Aerial rope bridges across Rifle Range Road will be provided to allow animals to move safely between Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Rifle Range Nature Park. The first such bridges in Singapore, they aim to restore the ecological connection between the two forest habitats.
Located off Venus Drive at the Upper Thomson area, the 75-hectare Windsor Nature Park is a green buffer for the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
Visitors can explore new trails including the specially curated Hanguana Trail and the Drongo Trail. The Hanguana Trail is lined with rare native plants, some of which are named after Singapore. The Drongo Trail features a sub-canopy walk where visitors can catch a glimpse of the fauna that are found under the canopy level, in addition to examining the understorey of the regenerating secondary forest.
Discover other highlights of Windsor Nature Park such as a marsh habitat and several freshwater streams by hiking on the restored trails and new boardwalks. Visitors can also join workshops to learn about Singapore’s natural heritage and ongoing biodiversity conservation efforts at the visitor pavilion.