Singapore's longest green corridor will enhance biodiversity in the South West District
16 Feb 2014
More than 20 community gardens to be planted with bird-and butterfly attracting plants along Tengah Nature Way
This marks mid-point milestone of the CDC’s 1,000,000 Native Plants @ South West 10-year programme, with the planting of more than 500,000 plants and trees across the district
16 February 2014 - More than 20 corporate and community partners have come on board the Tengah Nature Way @ South West initiative which was unveiled today by National Parks Board (NParks) and South West Community Development Council (CDC) - to green up Tengah Nature Way and bring biodiversity closer to the neighbourhood. The community gardens will be planted with bird- and butterfly-attracting plants that will help create a green route for these animals to travel between the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Central Catchment Nature Reserve and the Western Catchment (SAFTI Live-Firing Area). Tengah Nature Way is one (1) of three (3) recently created Nature Ways, bringing the total length of the green corridors in Singapore to 38 km. The other two new nature ways are in Punggol and Tanglin.
As part of the launch event today, around 400 residents from the South West District will be taking part in a guided walk of the Tengah Nature Way, where they will be able to learn moreabout the flora and fauna along this green corridor. The walk is also part of 'Project ENGAGE', a ground-up initiative by students from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to encourage active ageing through nature-related activities such as brisk walking and gardening.
Mayor of the South West District, Dr Amy Khor, said: "We are happy to promote and complement the Tengah Nature Way project by providing seed funding of $3,000 per garden for the setting up of up to 20 community gardens around the vicinity of the Tengah Nature Way. This will enhance the biodiversity as well as the fauna and flora of the area and further improve the quality of the living environment in the South West District. The Tengah Nature Way and the community gardens will together become community nodes for residents to enjoy nature, exercise as well as interact thus helping to form stronger bonds among residents".
Mr Poon Hong Yuen, CEO of NParks, said: "It is wonderful to see so many people stepping forward to green up Tengah Nature Way and their neighbourhoods. This is the first time so many stakeholder groups have committed to grow biodiversity-attracting plants to complement a Nature Way. Through this initiative, we hope more people will develop a deeper appreciation for Singapore’s rich biodiversity and join us to take ownership of our City in a Garden."
Tengah Nature Way @ South West
Tengah Nature Way, which will be 13 km in length, links the Bukit Timah and Central Catchment Nature Reserves with the Western Catchment (SAFTI Live-Firing Area). It is currently Singapore’s longest Nature Way – a route planted with specific trees and shrubs to facilitate the movement of animals between two green spaces. Tengah Nature Way @ South West is an initiative led by the South West District to enrich their living environment. The initiative has seen strong support from 21 community groups, schools and corporate organisations in the district – including Yuhua Zone 5 RC, NatSteel and Almukminin Mosque - which have committed to grow bird- and butterfly-attracting plants within their premises or on allocated plots of land. In line with the South West CDC’s 10-year master plan - Environment and Community (ECo) Plan South West, the '1,000,000 Native Plants @ South West' programme has funded 88 community gardens since 2006, with more than 500,000 plants pledged towards greening in the South West District.
Some stakeholders have gone the extra mile to green up their neighbourhood. In addition to planting a variety of shrubs in the compound, ITE College West’s Green Club explores different ways of composting and technology to better monitor plant health. To encourage more people to take part in the programme, Community in Bloom Ambassadors - such as Mr Tony Yau and Mdm Kamisah Bte Atan - opened their community gardens to visitors and shared gardening advice on how to grow biodiversity-attracting plants.
Besides the public planting effort, nine (9) schools in the district will also be participating in biodiversity audits and monitoring programmes. As part of the Nature Way Monitoring programme, students from Hillgrove Secondary School, Kranji Secondary School and Swiss Cottage Secondary School will be monitoring the birds and butterflies along Tengah Nature Way to help evaluate the effectiveness of the planting initiative. The nine (9) schools have also come on board the Greening Schools for Biodiversity programme to implement plans to further enrich the greenery in their school. For both of these programmes, students will be using Nature Society's (Singapore) bird and butterfly guide apps to identify the species and record their sightings.