SINGAPORE - The Springleaf Nature Park, the first of four new nature parks around the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, was officially opened on Saturday.
The six-hectare park includes a rest shelter, toilets, a carpark, trails and an observation deck for bird-watchers. The nature parks are meant to reduce the number of visitors to the reserve to prevent overcrowding, which may harm the vegetation and wildlife there.
Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee, who was the guest of honour at the park's opening, noted that its site is also a historical marker of Singapore's early days. "It was formerly a kampung known as Chan Chu Kang, named after a headman, Chan Ah Lak, who acquired 18 hectares in 1850 to cultivate gambier and pepper," he said. "Even as we become more urbanised, we will continue to protect our nature reserves by establishing green buffers around them, and some of these buffers will come in the form of nature parks that are located at the reserves' margins."
Two nature parks have already been opened near the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve: the Hindhede Nature Park in 2001 and the Dairy Farm Nature Park in 2009. Mr Lee said construction work is starting on the Chestnut Nature Park, the second of the four parks for the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. This will be an 80-hectare park with trails for hiking and biking, as well as a seven-storey tower to offer visitors a panoramic view of the greenery.
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Where it is: Nee Soon Road, Upper Thomson RoadGetting There: Take bus services SBS 138, SMRT 167, 169 or 980 and alight at bus stop outside Nessea Club.