The much anticipated Punggol Point Park recreational project was officially declared open by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on 20 November 2011. Active residents of the Pasir Ris-Punggol Constituency marked the occasion with their Seniors' Sports Day at the newly minted park. Located next to Punggol jetty, the 0.6ha Punggol Point Park comprises lily ponds, a children's playground, a viewing deck and an events plaza. It is part of the 1.2km Punggol Point Walk.
Just years ago, much of the Punggol Point coastline was inaccessible to the public. Moreover, there was no continuous connection and provision of open spaces along the waterfront for recreational purposes. Avid anglers who visited the coastline during the weekends had to make their way to various fishing spots via other roads within Punggol Town.
Now, visitors can enjoy panoramic sea views on the ship-inspired elevated viewing deck that overlooks the Straits of Johor at Punggol Point Park. City-weary residents can soak in the laidback atmosphere of the coastline or admire the tranquil calm of the giant lily ponds. Children will enjoy kicking back sand at the playground, one of a few on the island with a sand bed. Cyclists and joggers will also enjoy the use of dedicated cycling tracks and footpaths along the waterfront promenade at Punggol Point Walk.
Punggol Point Walk is one of three thematic zones of the scenic 4.9 km-long Punggol Promenade. This 1.2 km waterfront promenade and park, will anchor the planned recreational cluster at Punggol Point. The 1.3 km Riverside Walk, which anchored the growing recreational cluster at Punggol East, was the first thematic zone unveiled to the residents in March this year and is a lively and family-friendly promenade.
Built by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Punggol Promenade will link up the two recreational clusters at Punggol Point and Punggol East. The Promenade is also linked to the park connectors along Punggol Reservoir and Serangoon Reservoir, forming a continuous 17 km loop around the north-eastern part of Singapore. When fully completed, members of the public can walk, jog and cycle all the way from Riverside Walk over at Punggol East to the park at Punggol Point. Next year, the public can also look forward to the completion of the third thematic zone of the Promenade – the 2.5 km Nature Walk.
The $16.7 million Punggol Promenade project is part of the URA's Parks and Waterbodies and Identity Plans to open up the coastal areas and introduce new recreational activities and amenities for the residents to enjoy. Punggol Point was one of the four areas whose rustic coastal charms were recognised, and will be retained and enhanced further. Drawn up and exhibited in 2002, the plan was aimed to introduce new attractions that will not only enhance visitors' experiences but also preserve the unique laid-back and village-like appeal that the areas are well-known for.
Similarly, the design of all the thematic zones in the Punggol Promenade aims to retain, reinforce and enhance the existing rustic environment and natural beauty of the coastline. This latest recreational destination is a collective effort from the project team, leaders and residents from the grassroots and Constituency, the agencies from the public sector and supporters from the private sector. Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd had contributed 1000 trees that were planted along the entire length of Punggol Promenade to increase the shade and greenery along the route.
It is not just greenery that has flourished along the coastline. The very biodiversity of the area has been enhanced with the addition of various leisure destinations in the area. The Lorong Halus Wetland, the two new reservoirs and the Punggol Promenade will provide new nature areas for biodiversity to thrive. Some of the species of plants and wildlife that have appeared in increasing frequency over the past year include eagles, kingfishers and waterhens.
The Punggol Promenade is the latest in a series of improvement projects that the URA has undertaken around the island to enhance the living environment of residents. These include the Southern Ridges, the Woodlands Waterfront and the soon-to-be completed Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk.
Come 2012, Singaporeans will have one more new leisure destination to enjoy along the southern waterfront, with the completion of URA’s Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk. For the first time, the walk will open up currently inaccessible mangrove areas and coastal areas at Bukit Chermin, offering a wonderful mix of hills, mangroves and coastlines all in a day.
The 2.1 km Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk is an extension of URA’s award-winning Southern Ridges, linking from Alexandra Road to the waterfront at Bukit Chermin, bringing together nearby attractions, parks and nature areas along the way. The walk is a new gem in Singapore’s leisure offerings, giving Singaporeans a rare experience with nature away from the bustle of the city.
Imagine strolling or cycling through lush greenery along hilly paths, coming up close to one of the last few remaining mangroves in the south, meandering off for coffee at Gillman Village or visiting the latest attractions at the HortPark, and rejoining the walk again to emerge onto a stunning boardwalk, with breathtaking views on all sides. This is what the URA planners have envisaged, as first shared in the 2002 URA Parks and Waterbodies Plan that sought to enhance Singapore’s green spaces and waterbodies.
Work on this three-part themed Coastal Walk started in July 2010 and is expected to be completed by 2012. The first part - the Alexandra Road Garden Trail, spans the eastern bank of Alexandra Road between Depot Road and Telok Blangah Road. Beyond the footpaths and cycling paths set amidst mature trees and rich landscaping, this stretch will also have an elevated open pavilion that doubles up as a rest shelter and a look-out to scenic views of the Forest Walk within the Southern Ridges and Gillman Village. This Garden Trail also connects to other key attractions in the area like the Alexandra Arch and the HortPark.
The second stretch of the Coastal Walk - the Berlayer Creek Mangrove Trail, allows visitors to experience one of the last few remaining mangrove areas in Singapore and the rich biodiversity of the creek. The Mangrove Trail has been planned with the public transit commuter in mind. Its Entrance Plaza will be integrated with the future Labrador MRT station. The Entrance Plaza will serve as a rest shelter and multi-functional space for exhibitions, talks and other educational activities related to the mangrove area. The roof deck of the plaza, accessible via a ramp, enables visitors to savour an unusual ‘tree-top’ view of the Berlayer Creek. Visitors along the trail will be able to better appreciate the flora and fauna in the area with information storyboards located at key points.
The final stretch of the Coastal Walk - the Bukit Chermin Harbour View Walk, is an elevated boardwalk that brings visitors all the way out to sea. It skirts the foothill of Bukit Chermin, connects to Labrador Park westwards and to the future public promenade at the Reflections at Keppel Bay eastwards. Visitors will be able to pause at various rest points to soak up the beautiful waterfront views of Keppel Harbour and Sentosa, particularly during the sunset hours.
This walk is an addition to the many URA infrastructural projects like the Changi coastal boardwalk and Woodlands waterfront promenade that offer more unique and diverse leisure options for Singaporeans to enjoy. Watch this space for more updates on this new latest leisure playground at the southern waterfront!
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