Marsiling Park opens with enhanced mangrove habitat and new recreational experiences for the community
29 Apr 2018
Former Woodlands Town Garden enhanced with suggestions from the community
The National Parks Board (NParks) today opened Marsiling Park, formerly known as Woodlands Town Garden, after 22 months of enhancement works. As a result of close consultation with the community during the design process, the park now offers a range of new day and night experiences for visitors to enjoy. Enhancements have also been sensitively made to the mangrove area to allow visitors to get closer to nature as well as for biodiversity to thrive. Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development, Second Minister for Finance and Adviser to Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Grassroots Organisations (GROs), officiated at the opening of Marsiling Park this morning, together with the other Advisers to Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC GROs. Over 800 residents attended the community event organised by Marsiling Citizens’ Consultative Committee (CCC), which was held in conjunction with the park opening.
Enhancing the park with the community
The approximately 13 ha park is located near Marsiling MRT Station. Opened in 1983 as Woodlands Town Garden, the park holds many memories for residents in the area. To help create greater community ownership for the park, a public renaming exercise of the park was held by the Marsiling Citizens’ Consultative Committee in 2016. Then, the residents expressed a strong interest in the renaming and the name Marsiling Park was eventually chosen.
During the consultation exercises, residents indicated the need for more activity spaces and facilities to inject greater interest and vibrancy to the park, and shared that they would like to enjoy the park even in the evenings. In line with this feedback, there are now new amenities and activity areas to engage visitors of all ages, at different times of the day. An example is the enhanced night lighting for visitors to enjoy the park in the evenings. The lighting is curated to leverage on the reflections on the water body to create a special illumination effect. Light installations are also directed upwards at the tree canopy and the façades of the iconic Chinese pavilions to open up the view towards the sky for a different experience. Activity areas are well-lit as well to allow facilities to be used in the evenings.
New activity areas and amenities include a ribbon playscape – a distinctive feature that weaves through the landscape and doubles up as resting spaces, a playground in the form of a butterfly – the only one of its kind in Singapore, musical play equipment, 3G fitness equipment and a food and beverage outlet that is open round the clock.
Opportunities to get closer to nature
Several features have been introduced to support interaction with nature. For example, the butterfly playground is complemented with butterfly-attracting plants and educational interpretive boards to educate children on the diverse range of butterflies and butterfly-attracting plants found within the park. Boardwalks have been incorporated to bring visitors closer to the water and flora and fauna around the pond. The boardwalks also act as viewing platforms for visitors to appreciate the scenic and tranquil setting of the park and thematic planting along the water’s edge.
In addition, efforts were made to retain and enhance existing key elements of the park to create new garden elements and interest. The viewing tower, a landmark in the park, now features a cascading rain garden landscaped with rocks and boulders, ferns, and drought-tolerant plants. The garden spirals down the steps and provides a new dimension to the tower, while helping to slow down rainwater flow. Similarly, the amphitheatre is also enhanced with a rain garden to add colour and interest while also helping to slow down and cleanse rainwater runoff.
The entire western edge of Marsiling Park is made up of mangroves which have been restored and enhanced during the park redevelopment to help in the conservation of native mangrove fauna, such as the locally uncommon Mangrove Dwarf (Raphismia bispina) and Mangrove Helmet Shell (Pythia plicata). The mangrove patch, while relatively small, showcases a full mangrove ecosystem, with a brackish water zone at the northern end, a transition zone in the middle and a freshwater zone at the southern end. As part of the enhancement, more than 1000 saplings of mangrove species such as Api Api (Avicennia alba) and White Teruntum (Lumnitzera racemosa) were planted. Mangrove species that are critically endangered locally, such as the Berembang (Sonneratia caseolaris), have also been reintroduced to boost the biodiversity and ecological resilience of the mangrove.
Enhancement of the mangrove forest also opens up opportunities for the public to learn more about mangrove ecosystems. Students from schools in the area, such as Marsiling Secondary School, will be involved in the monitoring of the flora and fauna at the mangrove area and document fauna species sighted throughout the park. The data collected will help guide the development of long-term conservation management strategies.
A park for the community
Earlier today, Advisers to Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC GROs flagged off a Brisk Walk from four starting points for residents from various parts of Marsiling to appreciate that the park is within walking distance from their homes. This is the start of many community initiatives to encourage residents in the Marsiling community to frequent or walk to the park more regularly.
For example, the Marsiling GROs and Interest Groups such as Qigong, Zumba and Geng Sihat will now have an option to conduct regular brisk walk activities and exercises at the park. This year, Marsiling GROs will also be organising its Mid-Autumn Festival at the park with more vibrant activities to be included using the park’s new facilities. In addition, the Community Clubs in Marsiling are also exploring bringing some of its oil painting classes to the natural setting of the park so that participants will be inspired to paint the different views of the park as part of the class.
(For more information on the enhancements and park features, please refer to the Media Factsheet.)
Information accurate as of 29 April 2018.
Media Factsheet: Enhancements and new features in Marsiling Park