Marsiling Park pulls in visitors after makeover

Marsiling Park features improved lighting, new boardwalks and activity spaces such as a fitness corner and a butterfly-shaped rope playground. Popular elements of the park - such as the viewing tower, Chinese pavilions and stone bridge - have been re
Marsiling Park features improved lighting, new boardwalks and activity spaces such as a fitness corner and a butterfly-shaped rope playground. Popular elements of the park - such as the viewing tower, Chinese pavilions and stone bridge - have been retained and improved.ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

Old Woodlands Town Garden now boasts improved lighting, new boardwalks, activity spaces

Woodlands Town Garden opened in 1983, and in its latter years developed a seedy reputation for drug and vice-related activities.

After a 22-month makeover, it re-opened yesterday with a new name and facilities for residents to play, exercise and learn about nature.

Marsiling Park features improved lighting, new boardwalks and activity spaces such as a fitness corner and a butterfly-shaped rope playground. Popular elements of the park - such as the viewing tower, Chinese pavilions and stone bridge - have been retained and improved following a consultation exercise with residents.

A mangrove area along the park's western edge has also been restored and signs have been erected to inform visitors about the area.

The authorities hope the revamp will entice residents back to the park; it impressed many of the 800 who attended yesterday's relaunch.

"It's now cleaner, brighter and a lot more family friendly," said 51-year-old teacher Madam Rahidah Mohd Noor, who has lived in the area for 30 years.

"Before, no one visited often because it was quite swampy and dark."

MORE WELCOMING

It's now cleaner, brighter and a lot more family-friendly. Before, no one visited often because it was quite swampy and dark.

MADAM RAHIDAH MOHD NOOR, a teacher who has been living in the area for 30 years.

PLACE TO HANG OUT

It used to be a bit run down, but with the many play areas, we are looking forward to spending more time here.

MS LEE HEI ING, for whom the new play areas will mean more frequent trips to the revamped park with her children.

Chef and father of three Lam Chan Hoong, 35, added: "It used to be quite dark at night in the park, so we would only visit in the day time.

"There weren't many things for children to do either as there was only a small playground back then."

For pharmacist Lee Hei Ing, 38, the new play areas will mean more frequent trips to the revamped park for her children: "It used to be a bit run down, but with the many play areas, we are looking forward to spending more time here."

Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong, attended the opening along with advisers to Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Grassroots Organisation (GRO), Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Mr Alex Yam and Mr Ong Teng Koon.

Mr Wong said: "Over the years, the park became older; in the last few years, as you saw the media reports, there were some vice activities around the area. I think the feeling about this park was not so positive."

He added that the new park came about thanks to the hard work of former MP and now President, Madam Halimah Yacob, and also the Marsiling grassroots leaders and a team from the National Parks Board.

Mr Wong added: "We want to make full use of the amenities, so the Marsiling grassroots will organise more activities here."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2018, with the headline 'Marsiling Park pulls in visitors after makeover'. Print Edition | Subscribe