SINGAPORE - The 50ha Coney Island Park, the newest nature destination in the Republic, is now open.
The island, which is located off the north-eastern coast of Singapore near Pulau Ubin, was officially opened by Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure Khaw Boon Wan on Saturday (Oct 10) morning.
The rustic park managed by the National Parks Board (NParks) will allow Singaporeans to encounter a wide variety of biodiversity, including nationally threatened species such as the spotted wood owl and rusty-breasted cuckoo.
Lucky visitors might even chance across the single Brahman bull roaming freely across the island. The timid and gentle animal was found in poor condition when the island was being re-developed. But it has since been nursed back to health, Mr Khaw told the crowd to applause at Saturday's event.
The island, also known as Pulau Serangoon, is located off Punggol and is mostly covered with lush vegetation, which NParks has tried to preserve. The island's five beaches, for instance, have been intentionally left uncleared, and greenery allowed to grow in its natural environment.
Other environmental initiatives are also in place to nurture the biodiversity on the island, which is a stop for migratory birds like the blue-throated bee-eater. One habitat enhancement measure, for instance, involves the installation of nest boxes to increase the availability of suitable nesting sites for birds around the island.
The island can be accessed via two bridges that link its western and eastern ends to Punggol Promenade and Pasir Ris Coast Industrial Park 6 respectively.
Coney Island used to be popular as a swimming, fishing and picnic spot. However, by 1998, it was frequented only by people with their own transportation, such as boaters.
It was closed shortly after that for redevelopment under the Punggol 21 plan.