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Speech by Mrs Theresa Foo, Member of the National Parks Board, at the Clean & Green Week Celebrations (12 November 2005)

19 Feb 2006 Minister Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development; Mr Paul Lawrence, CEO, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation; Distinguished guests; Ladies and gentlemen, On behalf of the National Parks Board (NParks), I welcome you to Bedok Reservoir Park. It gives me great pleasure to be here for the Clean & Green Week 2005 celebrations. I can?t think of a better way to start the weekend! Looking at the green ambience surrounding us, Singapore has come a long way since the launch of Tree Planting Campaign by the then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. Today, four decades down the road, Singapore is internationally recognized as a Garden City. Any visitor to Singapore would have left with a lasting impression of our tree-lined roads, interspersed with lush greenery, beautiful parks and gardens. And the island?s seamless green infrastructure of parks and streetscapes is an essential part of our lives, at our homes, workplaces and playgrounds. The Garden City we see today is the fruit of our concerted efforts to green up the island, be it the tree-planting activities or the gardening programs. This alone is not enough. Your participation, the active involvement of the community, plays an important part in sustaining the beautiful blooms of our Garden City. Hence, the ?Community In Bloom? Program was launched in May this year to develop community gardening groups throughout our island. What is a community garden? In a nutshell, it is a garden that the community takes pride in looking after together. Judging from the positive feedback we have received and the response to the ?Community In Bloom? Awards, it appears many of us do enjoy gardening. This is not surprising, as the avid gardeners we have spoken to share that community gardening beautifies the public space, is a relaxing hobby and allows them to get close to nature. In fact, many of our participants tell us that gardening has noticeably improved their health. And when you garden together, you forge closer ties with your neighbors, colleagues, family and friends. Of course, for some of the gardeners amongst us, the growing of organic vegetables for own consumption is a bonus! I am very happy to see the diverse groups of gardeners with us today, some of whom have set up booths and displays here. More importantly, I am heartened by the fact that they are able to establish and care for their community gardens with minimal outside help, which is encouraging for the long-term sustainability of such gardens. The gardens in which they have created within their own community are truly unique. Do visit their booths and they will be happy to share their experiences with you. NParks will also be at hand to assist residents, schools and other organizations to start new community gardens or revitalize existing ones. We will advise and provide ideas on horticultural matters, as well as to provide basic horticultural materials to the various community groups and partners. On this note, I urge the potential green-fingered ones among you to take up this hobby of setting up and caring for your own community gardens. The more people we have in the community building on our green infrastructure, the sooner we can realize a network of self-sustaining community gardens throughout Singapore, in tandem with our parks and nature areas. So let?s play our part in contributing to a greener Singapore! Finally, on behalf of NParks, I would like to thank all of you for joining us this morning for the Clean & Green Week Celebrations 2005. I would also like to thank Minister Mah Bow Tan, for his support today in being our Guest-of-Honour. Thank you and enjoy the celebrations. *** View other speeches
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Last updated on 19 November 2014

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