SINGAPORE - Chestnut Nature Park (South), the country's first nature park with separate mountain biking and hiking trails, is now open.
Measuring about 17ha in size, it is situated next to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
The National Parks Board (NParks) launched this first phase of the Chestnut Nature Park on Saturday (April 2) morning.
Besides featuring a 1.6km mountain biking trail and a 2.1km hiking trail, the southern portion of the nature park will also allow bird lovers to spot species such as the Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher and the Straw-headed Bulbul.
From the middle of this year, park users can also look forward to a kiosk where they can rent and wash bicycles.
When the 64ha Chestnut Nature Park (North) is completed by the end of this year, there will be a total of 5km of hiking trails and 6km of biking trails.
On Saturday, NParks also launched the Friends of the Parks community, to encourage greater community stewardship of green spaces.
The community will consist of members from various interest groups such as hikers, bikers, nature photographers and researchers.
The community, which will play an active role in promoting active and responsible use of the parks through ground-led initiatives, builds on the success of the Friends of Ubin Network, which comprises members from nature enthusiasts to historians.
The Friends of the Park community will start with Chestnut Nature Park, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and the Park Connector Network.
For Pulau Ubin, the existing Friends of Ubin Network will also come under the Friends of the Parks community but will continue operating without any further changes.
It will be gradually extended to more parks.
At the launch event, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Desmond Lee planted a Braided Chestnut tree to mark the occasion.
He said: "The community may propose and organise meaningful activities that they would like to carry out... and suggest ideas such as conservation, recreation and horticultural projects."