SINGAPORE: In a bid to revitalize the Greater Southern Waterfront and the Southern Ridges, the National Parks Board (NParks) of Singapore has unveiled an ambitious plan to link 13 parks in the southern region of the city-state via scenic trails.
This development, announced shortly after the inauguration of a new section in Pasir Panjang Park on 16 September, aims to enhance the recreational experiences for residents and tourists alike.
Among the parks set to be connected are well-known destinations such as Labrador Park, HortPark, West Coast Park, and others.
Notably, three of these parks, namely HortPark, Labrador Nature Park, and West Coast Park, will undergo transformation into “Destination Parks” with unique thematic identities and special features.
Expanding recreational opportunities in nature
NParks, in a Facebook post, expressed its intention to create a network of trails that will encourage outdoor activities and connect the 13 southern parks, offering a diverse range of experiences for visitors of all ages.
According to The Straits Times (ST), the list of the 13 parks is as follows:
- Alexandra Nature Park
- Berlayer Creek Nature Park
- Clementi Woods Park
- Kent Ridge Park
- Labrador Nature Park
- Mount Faber Park
- Park at Keppel Club (configuration subject to further study)
- Park at King’s Dock
- Pasir Panjang Park
- New extension of Pasir Panjang Park
- Telok Blangah Hill Park
- West Coast Park
This initiative is expected to provide greater access to recreational features set amidst Singapore’s lush natural landscape.
“Destination Parks” with distinct themes
Among the three parks designated as Destination Parks, HortPark is slated to become a vibrant gardening and lifestyle hub, with a strong focus on community bonding spaces related to gardening and horticulture.
Meanwhile, Labrador Nature Park will center around the restoration of the historic gun battery at Berlayer Hill, preserving a piece of British military history while offering unique experiences to park-goers.
These two parks will also serve as protective buffers for the Labrador Nature Reserve, ensuring its conservation amid potential developments.
Lastly, West Coast Park is positioned as the western gateway to the Great Southern Waterfront, offering a range of family-friendly activities for nature and fitness enthusiasts.
This park is set to play a pivotal role in enhancing the overall appeal of the waterfront area.
Pasir Panjang park expansion
In addition to these ambitious plans, a new 2.2km-long section of Pasir Panjang Park has also been recently opened, connecting Pasir Panjang Food Centre to West Coast Park.
It is part of a 17km route from Labrador Nature Park to Jurong Central Park – passing through Pasir Panjang Park and West Coast Park in the south and Jurong Lake Gardens in the west.
This section pays homage to the area’s history as a major port terminal and incorporates maritime-themed elements, including repurposed shipping containers and maritime artifacts.
One notable feature of this development is the repurposing of three 6-meter-tall shipping containers generously donated by port operator PSA Singapore.
These containers have been transformed into shelters for park-goers, offering a unique and sustainable touch to the park’s infrastructure.
Two of these shelters house significant maritime artifacts, including a ship telegraph and an anchor, donated by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.
Additionally, an old cannon, part of Singapore’s National Collection, helps add historical depth to the park.
NParks has taken a collaborative approach, incorporating ideas from the public into the design of this new park section.
A heritage showcase, featuring old photos contributed by members of the public, serves as a testament to the community’s involvement in shaping this space.
In a nod to the area’s history, the park section includes a coastal habitat with sandy beach forest vegetation, reminiscent of its former sandy coastline.
This habitat is home to species of conservation significance, including the critically endangered Sepetir tree.
This project has been made possible through the generous contribution of $3.5 million by PSA Singapore to the Garden City Fund, NParks’ registered charity and an Institution of a Public Character.
The completion of Pasir Panjang Park is expected to enhance connectivity from Labrador Nature Park to West Coast Park, though its timeline is contingent on surrounding development works.
Public engagement for design input
Furthermore, to involve the community in shaping the design and features of these Destination Parks, NParks will conduct public engagement sessions on the weekend of September 23rd and 24th at West Coast Park.
This collaborative approach aims to gather valuable feedback and insights from residents and stakeholders.
For those interested to take part in the engagement session, you can do so here.
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