Community ideas for Jurong Lake Gardens to be sought in April

An artist's impression of Jurong Lake Garden. A roving exhibition to gather ideas from the public about the upcoming Jurong Lake Gardens will be launched in April this year. -- PHOTO: NPARKS
An artist's impression of Jurong Lake Garden. A roving exhibition to gather ideas from the public about the upcoming Jurong Lake Gardens will be launched in April this year. -- PHOTO: NPARKS

SINGAPORE - A roving exhibition to gather ideas from the public about the upcoming Jurong Lake Gardens will be launched in April this year, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong on Sunday.

"It's a rare opportunity to shape and create a new national gardens but this time in the western region," said Mr Wong.

"You don't get this very often because we don't have very many national gardens in Singapore and this is perhaps a chance of a lifetime to get something done right and done beautifully for the western region."

He was speaking after touring a quarterly event for community gardeners organised by the National Parks Board (NParks) at Hort Park in Alexandra, where designs for five new community gardens at the park were also unveiled at the event as part of NParks' SG50 celebrations.

Gardeners from each of the five districts together with NParks landscape architects started work on the designs late last year, and the gardens will be open to the public from September this year till 2018.

Mr Wong, who is chairing the Jurong Lake District Steering Committee, said a similar process could take place in Jurong. "One of the ideas for Jurong Lake Gardens is to provide a platform for community gardeners to work with NParks landscape architects and create showpiece gardens," he said.

The Community in Bloom gardens at Hort Park are designed by 50 community groups, and will each be 200 sq m, or around the size of two five-room flats. They will have various themes, ranging from birds to dragon playgrounds.

More than 250 gardeners from schools, residents committees and other groups are involved in the project.

One of them, retiree Oh Kee Swee, 60, has been tending to a 1 hectare plot- with organic vegetables and animals such as birds and rabbits - in Sembawang Zone E for 11 years.

For the Hort Park garden, his team from the Northwest District came up with a theme of balik kampung (return to the village in Malay). They hope to have fruit trees, models of kampung houses and comic strip panels in the garden.

Mr Oh said: "I owned a kampung house before and most of my friends are from kampung days. We want people to have the kampung feel of friendship and brotherhood."