Coast-to-Coast Trail launched

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong (in red) at Rower's Bay, where he opened a new park yesterday.
Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong (in red) at Rower's Bay, where he opened a new park yesterday.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Path stretches from Jurong Lake Gardens in west to Coney Island Park in north-east

The 36km Coast-to-Coast Trail, which stretches from Jurong Lake Gardens in the west to Coney Island Park in the north-east, was launched yesterday, linking parks such as Bukit Batok Nature Park, Botanic Gardens and MacRitchie Reservoir in one continuous route.

A park at Rower's Bay in Lower Seletar Reservoir was also launched, forming part of the first 60km phase to be completed for the 150km Round Island Route park connector, which will be finished by 2035.

And by the end of this year, a new 1.5km park connector next to Rower's Bay will be completed, with the rest of the loop around Lower Seletar Reservoir progressively planned and finished in the future, said the National Parks Board at the launch at Rower's Bay.

More sections of the Round Island Route will be completed in the next few years.

By next year, Seletar Aerospace and Sengkang Riverside parks will be connected, and the public will be able to enjoy a 60km route between Rower's Bay and Gardens by the Bay, via Sengkang, Punggol, Pasir Ris, Changi and East Coast Park.

By 2021, another 60km of paths between Gardens by the Bay and Rower's Bay, part of which runs along the Rail Corridor, will be connected, making a loop of 120km.

At the launch, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said that the Park Connector Network has grown over the years to over 300km. It will be increased to 400km by 2030.

GREEN CORRIDORS

Designing and developing these park connectors is a serious matter. We do it in a way that's deliberate and systematic because the park connectors also serve as green corridors and ecological links to protect our natural diversity.

MINISTER FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LAWRENCE WONG

"Designing and developing these park connectors is a serious matter," he said.

"We do it in a way that's deliberate and systematic because the park connectors also serve as green corridors and ecological links to protect our natural diversity."

The Coast-to-Coast Trail connects parks and nature areas through footpaths in several areas, but these will progressively be replaced by park connectors.

An app for the trail, the NParks Coast-to-Coast app provides information on native flora and fauna through augmented reality 3D-animated characters.

Users can also rack up points for rewards such as food and beverage vouchers by, for example, uploading photographs they took of the trail to share their experiences.


Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong (second from right) at Rower's Bay on March 30, 2019. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

 
 
 

The app was developed by information technology firm Revez Motion and can be downloaded from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

A 36-hour Coast-to-Coast Trail Challenge also kicked off yesterday at noon and will end at 11.59pm today. Participants who collect 1,600 points in the app, complete in-app challenges, and upload photos of themselves at all 10 checkpoints in the trail will be eligible for a lucky draw to win either an iPhone XS 64GB or a Samsung Galaxy S10+ 128GB.

As for Rower's Bay, it now boasts a boardwalk, swales, wetlands and amenities such as shelters, a bicycle repair station and toilets.

The wetlands around the boardwalk are planted with species that provide food and shelter for native wildlife found in the area, such as the grey heron and copper-cheeked frog.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 31, 2019, with the headline 'Coast-to-Coast Trail launched'. Print Edition | Subscribe