Carnival fun at Lakeside Garden opening

Visitors admiring Flora Tapestry, an exhibit at the inaugural SGF Horticulture Show at Lakeside Garden.
Visitors admiring Flora Tapestry, an exhibit at the inaugural SGF Horticulture Show at Lakeside Garden.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
A "tree" made from reinforcement bars at Lakeside Garden, the western portion of Jurong Lake Gardens.
A "tree" made from reinforcement bars at Lakeside Garden, the western portion of Jurong Lake Gardens.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Clusia Cove, a children's play area where visitors can learn about water dynamics through play.
Clusia Cove, a children's play area where visitors can learn about water dynamics through play.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

1st phase of Jurong Lake Gardens, Singapore's first national heartland gardens, wows visitors

Children mimicked the actions of a paradise tree snake - climbing a tree-like structure before gliding down slides - at a play area that lets them emulate the movements of different animals.

Adults wandered through a grassland area with 300,000 plants and tall grasses, which vaguely resembled something from the fictional Lord Of The Rings' Middle-earth.

These were some of the activities, including a carnival and the inaugural SGF Horticulture Show, lined up for visitors at Lakeside Garden to mark its official opening yesterday.

The garden at 104 Yuan Ching Road revolves around the themes of "nature, play and the community", the National Parks Board (NParks) said.

It added: "The garden has been developed sensitively to retain the serenity of the area whilst incorporating spaces for the community and recreational needs."

Its opening marked the completion of the first phase of Jurong Lake Gardens, Singapore's first national gardens in the heartland.

At 53ha, Lakeside Garden makes up more than half of the 90ha Jurong Lake Gardens, the third national gardens after the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Gardens by the Bay.

Lakeside Garden, the western portion of Jurong Lake Gardens, has features such as a restored freshwater swamp forest, as well as grassland and wetland trails, where visitors may spy grey herons, oriental pied hornbills and smooth-coated otters.

  •  SOME ATTRACTIONS

    BIRDS' NESTS: HERON ISLAND

    Some of the 10 species of herons at Jurong Lake Gardens might roost atop platforms at this 4,000 sq m island, where visitors can observe the broody birds at a distance.

    SWAMP AND LAKE VIEWS: RASAU WALK

    A restored freshwater swamp habitat with 50 species of plants and a 300m boardwalk that takes visitors to the edge of Jurong Lake.

    TIDAL PLAY: CLUSIA COVE

    Two water-play pools, which mimic ripples, tidal movements and coastal currents. Children can learn about the dynamics of water through play.

    DO LAPS: ACTIVESG PARK @JURONG LAKE GARDENS

    Test the waters of a lap and training pool, a wading pool and fitness spaces like a 1,000 sq m gym.

    SURF'S UP: PASSION WAVE @ JURONG LAKE GARDENS

    The first waterfront facility in the west of Singapore offers access to not just sports such as kayaking. Inclusive access is assured with its first integrated pontoon which connects the boathouse to the water seamlessly.

At the 2.3ha Forest Ramble - which NParks described as the largest nature playgarden in the heartland - children can enjoy activities at 13 adventure stations, where they emulate the movements of native squirrels, crabs and other animals.

Nature playgardens - like one that opened at HortPark last month - incorporate more natural elements, such as trees, dirt and sand, to encourage exploratory play.

Besides housing Singapore's biggest allotment garden, which has 300 plots, Lakeside Garden boasts PAssionWaVe@Jurong Lake Gardens, by the People's Association (PA). It is the first waterfront facility in western Singapore, offering kayaking and pedal-boating, among other activities.

The SGF Horticulture Show, which is organised by NParks and will run until May 5, features exhibits and competitions with categories such as terrariums, succulents and carnivorous plants.

It is an offshoot of the popular Singapore Garden Festival.

Those who visited the carnival got to try their hand at latte art, piloxing fitness workouts and other arts, food and lifestyle offerings.

At night, visitors were treated to a free concert with the theme "East Meets West", the 11th instalment of NParks' Rockestra concert series.

The initial reviews of Lakeside Garden were enthusiastic.

Ms June Oei, a retiree in her 50s, called it "world-class".

Engineer Yee Ming Fatt, 36, said his five-year-old son enjoyed playing at the garden.

"There aren't many nature spaces in the west where children can play," he said.

NParks said the next phase would be to call the construction tender for the Chinese and Japanese gardens in the central section of Jurong Lake Gardens, as well as the Garden Promenade in the eastern part.

People’s garden

These two sections will open from 2021.

Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, officiated the opening yesterday.

 
 
 
 

Also at the event was Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is also the Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies.

Mr Wong said in a speech that familiar landmarks like the seven-storey pagoda would be retained in the central section of Jurong Lake Gardens, and that a new Science Centre is being developed in the eastern part.

Plans for the development of Jurong Lake Gardens, envisioned as a people's garden, drew more than 32,000 suggestions from residents and stakeholders.

The feedback was incorporated into the design, said Mr Wong, who chairs the Jurong Lake District Steering Committee.

"Jurong Lake Gardens is an integral part of our development plans for Jurong Lake District," he said.

Mr Wong cited developments such as Jurong Gateway, which has two hospitals, offices and shopping malls, and two existing MRT lines, as well as the upcoming Jurong Region and Cross Island lines.

He said he was confident that Jurong Lake District would become "the largest commercial and regional centre outside the city".

Within this district, Jurong Lake Gardens would be "a beautiful green oasis", he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 28, 2019, with the headline 'Carnival fun at Lakeside Garden opening'. Print Edition | Subscribe