NParks' SG50 outdoor concert series at Admiralty Park: Where music meets nature

Straits Times readers can win 20 goodie bags worth over $100 each, and picnic under the stars at the next SG50 Concert Series in the Park by the National Parks Board. The concert on May 9 will feature a jazz performances by the likes of Jeremy Monteiro amid the lush greenery at Admiralty Park.

The concert, which begins at 6.30pm, is at the park's Activity Plaza. This is at an urban area of the park so that biodiversity is not disturbed. Besides the concert, visitors also can also sign up for nature guided walks, origami sessions and music workshops.

For a chance to win a goodie bag, e-mail your answer to this question: “When and where will the upcoming NParks SG50 concert be held?” to nparks_programmes_events@nparks.gov.sg with your full name, contact number and e-mail address. The contest ends on 5 May, 12pm. Visit www.facebook.com/nparksbuzz for updates.

Located in Woodlands, the 27ha Admiralty Park is home to more than 100 species of plants and animals. It is on hilly terrain with a river, Sungei Cina, running through it. The park has the largest nature area - 20ha - within an urban park. Previously a floodplain and freshwater swamp forest, it encompasses a diverse mix of secondary forest, mangrove, riverine and open grassland habitats. This means that visitors can do anything from spotting dragonflies to examining secondary forest species or observing animals in their natural habitat. Here's a close-up look at some interesting plants and insects you can find at the Admiralty Park and other parks in Singapore.

Dragonflies and Damselflies

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The native Common Parasol pictured here is Singapore’s most common dragonfly, and one of the most striking. Males have brownish-red wings, while females have clear ones. It is not shy, and can often be found flitting around ponds in large numbers in urban parks. The pond near Admiralty Park's west entrance is home to a flourishing diversity of pond life, as well as dragonflies and damselflies. Dragonflies and damselflies are sensitive to polluted water and can thrive only in clean water. One of the ways to tell a dragonfly from a damselfly is by looking at its wings. Damselflies have their wings closed, pressed together and held over their bodies when perching. The wings of dragonflies, on the other hand, are always open, and are either horizontal or downward and away from the body.

Scaly-breasted Munia 

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The Scaly-breasted Munia can sometimes be found in the grasslands, feeding on the seeds of long grasses. The back of the bird is light brown and its white breast feathers are edged with a deep mahogany, giving the bird’s chest a beautiful scalloped appearance.

Fish Poison Tree

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The Fish Poison Tree is endangered in Singapore as its mangrove habitat is threatened by urban development. This tree contains a chemical called saponin that can stun fish in the water. Keep a lookout for its pink, delicate flowers (like the one above) around May.

Nipah Palm 

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The Nipah Palm is an increasingly rare sight in Singapore. The palm is known as a "plant of a thousand uses". In the past, the leaves of this palm were used for roof-thatching. Its seeds, known as attap chee, are commonly added to a local dessert, ice kachang

Noni Tree 

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Native to South-east Asia, this tree was first cultivated by the Polynesians and can be found along rivers and coastal habitats. The Noni fruit is extremely smelly when ripe and can be eaten, used to make dyes or fed to livestock. The tree is also useful for its antiseptic qualities and is used in traditional medicine.

Common Yellow Stem Fig 

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This is a fig species that is native to South and South-east Asia. A small tree with tiny green leaves, it bears large quantities of round fruits which are food for mammals such as squirrels and bats.