Bringing farming closer to us; The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has launched nine sites at the rooftops of Housing & Development Board (HDB) multi-storey carparks (MSCP) for rental by public tender. The sites shall be used to farm vegetables and other food crops, as well as for other related purposes, such as the packing/storage of produce. Some of you may soon get to enjoy lush views of locally-grown veggies from your HDB flats!
Availing more spaces in land-constrained Singapore for commercial farming, including alternative spaces like HDB MSCP rooftops, is one of the strategies SFA hasbeen undertaking to achieve Singapore’s “30 by 30” goal, which is to produce 30% of our nutritional needs locally by 2030. The move is also in line with HDB’s Green Towns Programme to intensify greening in HDB estates.
“We are heartened by the growing interest from both the industry and the public towards urban farming in community spaces, following the launch of our pilot MSCP rooftop farm, Citiponics, in Ang Mo Kio last year,” said Mr Melvin Chow, Senior Directorof SFA’s Food Supply Resilience Division. “Residents in the area have been able toenjoy fresh produce from the farm at nearby supermarkets, and can witness first-hand the hard work involved in bringing our food from farm-to-fork. We hope that consumers will continue to show their appreciation for our local farms by buying their produce.”
Situated close to the hill forest at Telok Blangah Hill Park, the Therapeutic Garden embraces the tranquillity of its natural setting. The lush greenery all around the garden creates a restorative environment to engage the senses and to uplift both mental and emotional well-being while serving as complementary habitat for native biodiversity.
The new therapeutic garden features several new elements that leverage Telok Blangah Hill Park’s natural forest setting. Some of these elements include fruit tree espaliers, planting of lesser-known forest species with therapeutic effects and a 40m long viewing deck which offers an unobstructed, mid-canopy view of the forest. This therapeutic garden is one of the 30 therapeutic gardens which NParks will establish across Singapore by 2030, as they work towards transforming Singapore into a City in Nature, bringing forth benefits to health and well-being through greenery. Its development and programmes are supported by a contribution of around $500,000 in total from Tote Board and Mr Peter Lim through the Garden City Fund.
Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp) made an announcement that it has, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Sembcorp Solar Singapore, been named as the preferred bidder to build a 60 megawatt-peak (MWp) floating solar photovoltaic (PV) system on Tengeh Reservoir. When completed in 2021, it will be one of the world’s largest single floating solar PV systems.
When completed in 2021, the solar farm could generate enough energy to power around 16,000 four-room HDB flats, and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by around 32 kilotonnes per year, or the equivalent of removing 7,000 cars off Singapore's roads.
With this project, Sembcorp will be one of the largest renewable energy players in Singapore with approximately 240MWp of solar capacity in the country. Moving ahead with the development of a floating solar farm underscores Sembcorp’s commitment to support Singapore’s move towards achieving its new solar target of at least 2 gigawatt-peak (GWp) by 2030.
Sembcorp Solar Singapore will proceed to execute the requisite project agreements, and work towards satisfaction of the conditions precedents set out in PUB’s request for proposal.
A 5.6m high waterfall takes centre stage in the newly-rejuvenated Yunnan Garden at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore that now seamlessly integrates with the Chinese Heritage Centre and an expanded Nanyang Lake. Comprising themed mini gardens and nature trails, the new space is now even more inviting for students, staff and nearby Jurong residents to visit and explore the various scenic spots it has to offer.
Built in the 1950s, the Yunnan Garden was a key attraction of the Nanyang University campus, the land on which NTU Singapore is now situated. With the just-completed revitalisation effort, the Yunnan Garden is seamlessly integrated with the Chinese Heritage Centre and an expanded Nanyang Lake. More than 1,000 new trees comprising over 80 species have been planted in the Garden, enriching its biodiversity. Other enrichments include a new 5.6-metre-tall waterfall, themed mini gardens, a boardwalk, a new stormwater management system, and Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the Garden.
The result is a 9-hectare heritage precinct – bigger than 12 soccer fields – that preserves the Garden’s legacy while enriching it as an educational and recreation hub, making it a go-to place not just for the NTU community, but also for the residents who live in the wider Jurong neighbourhood.
NTU Students’ Union President Bryan Michael Chiew Sen, a second-year Public Policy and Global Affairs student from the School of Social Sciences, said: “The new amenities in the Yunnan Garden are a refreshing addition to what we traditionally know as a heritage area with historical significance. With the rejuvenation, the Garden is now an invigorating break away from the classroom, and an attractive spot for students to have social gatherings. The spruced up greenery makes the Garden good for deep conversations and long strolls, which I’m certain will be beneficial for students’ mental well-being.”
Learning about plants and the environment is also part and parcel of a walk in the Yunnan Garden, which is designed around sustainability principles. The plant varietals in the mini gardens have been carefully chosen for their educational values, be it for their use as renewable energy sources or as sustainable alternatives to plastics, or their ability to remove pollutants from the air, soil and water.
The water features in the Garden are designed to create a stormwater management system that purifies rainwater before releasing it into larger ponds and reservoirs through drains and canals.
Integrating these lessons into the Yunnan Garden experience is part of NTU’s commitment to raising awareness about environmental sustainability.
Located off Gambas Avenue, Sembawang Hot Spring Park features new cascading pools and a water collection point, enhanced accessibility for wheelchair users, and educational panels where visitors can learn about Singapore’s only hot spring park’s history and geology. The park's rustic environment, reminiscent of old kampungs, also holds many collective memories for the community.
Visitors can enjoy the new Floral Walk and see fruit trees and edible plants commonly found in kampungs, and flowers commonly seen in the 1960s and 1990s. The rustic environment is further enhanced by unpaved paths and naturalised streams flowing from the hot spring, which mimics the freshwater swamp forest landscape. There are seating areas sheltered by planted trellises featuring flowering creepers such as the Elephant Climber (Argyreia nervosa). The public can also learn more about the history of the site and geothermal processes behind the formation of a hot spring through interpretative signs at locations of interest.
If you live in or near Bukit Gombak and love gardening, you can apply for 70 allotment gardening plots at the new Bukit Gombak Park which will be opened in early 2020. Applications will be open for online application from 5 January 2020, 10am to 19 January 2020, 10pm. The park is located at Bukit Batok West Avenue 5, opposite Bukit Batok Driving Centre. Plots will be allocated by computerised balloting.
To foster a love for gardening, NParks introduced the Allotment Gardening Scheme as part of their Community in Bloom (CIB) programme. CIB is a nationwide gardening movement which aims to bring together residents, young and old, in creating community gardens. With Allotment Gardens situated near HDB residential estates, these plots are widely accessible to the community. Today, more than 1,000 allotment gardening plots have been introduced in 11 parks islandwide.
In December, the Mandai Wildlife Bridge will be ready and will facilitate safe crossings for local wildlife linking two parts of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. An important component of the new nature and wildlife destination being developed at Mandai, this bridge is part of a larger plan to facilitate habitat connectivity for wildlife within the precinct and its surroundings. Construction of the bridge began in June 2017.
The Mandai rejuvenation project, driven by Mandai Park Holdings (MPH), involves the development of two new wildlife parks - a Rainforest Park and the new Bird Park, a nature-themed indoor attraction, accommodation offerings and public green spaces. These will join the existing Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari to form a new integrated nature and wildlife destination at Mandai.
The Gallop Extension is an 8-hectare addition to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. It is located next to the Learning Forest and can be accessed via Tyersall Avenue.
Framed by landscapes composed of native plants and forests, the Gallop Extension contributes to the Gardens’ rich heritage and its role in research, conservation, education and recreation. As a natural extension of the Gardens’ nature area, which covers the Rain Forest and the Learning Forest, the Gallop Extension enables visitors to learn about forest ecology and the significance of conservation.
The Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge and OCBC Arboretum at the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Gallop Extension are now open!
The Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge is a re-creation of a variety of hill-slope and cliff-edge habitats found in the region, accessed via a barrier-free path. For those looking for an adventure, the ridge-top hiking trail will provide a challenging alternative route to get to the highest point in the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
The OCBC Arboretum serves as a site for conservation and research of dipterocarps, a family of trees which form the backbone of the region’s tropical rainforests. More than 200 dipterocarp species are represented here.