NParks opens largest dog run in the east at East Coast Park
22 Nov 2020
- Community involved in designing of pet-friendly amenities, dog run and bird perch
- Formation of new Friends of East Coast Park Community (FoECP) comprising representatives from various interest groups
The National Parks Board (NParks) opened a dog run at Singapore’s largest and most visited park this morning. The 0.2ha dog run, the largest in the east and located at Parkland Green within East Coast Park is conveniently accessible for park visitors via the underpass and the nearby carpark. In addition to the dog run, a new bird perch, located next to the dog run, also provides bird owners a space to showcase their trained birds. Both the dog run and the bird perch were designed in consultation with the community and enhances pet-friendly amenities at the park. A new Friends of the Park Community group has also been formed for East Coast Park. This is the 10th such group under NParks’ Friends of the Parks Community initiative. The new Friends of East Coast Park Community (FoECP) comprises representatives with varied interests including recreational activities, marine, sustainability and community animals.
Pet-friendly amenities were designed in consultation with the community
Besides residents, NParks consulted dog enthusiast, Ms Susan Tan, on the design for the newly opened East Coast Park Dog Run. In addition, Bird Craze, an active bird owner community, partnered NParks in the designing and building of a bird perch using upcycled wood from East Coast Park. Constructed next to the new dog run, the perch provides bird owners a space to showcase their trained birds and engage the community. Both the dog run and the bird perch enhance pet-friendly amenities at the park.
FoECP mirrors the diverse communities served by East Coast Park
Ms Tan and Mr Francis Mitchell from Bird Craze are also part of the new Friends of East Coast Park (FoECP), a ground-led initiative to promote stewardship and responsible use of Singapore’s green spaces. As Singapore’s largest and most popular park, East Coast Park offers a wide range of recreational activities. It is also significant from a biodiversity standpoint as it is Singapore’s largest turtle nesting site, along with rich intertidal seagrass habitats.
Through the formation of FoECP, the community will be able to play a more active role in creating a highly liveable environment. It will encourage residents to continue interacting with nature through the restoration of ecosystems and promote active and responsible uses of the park through ground-led programmes and initiatives. This is in line with the vision to transform Singapore into a City in Nature, for which community stewardship is a key thrust.
Mr Tan Kiat How, Minister of State for National Development said, “I am heartened to see the active participation by many stakeholders in caring for the environment and biodiversity at East Coast Park, which is the most popular park on mainland Singapore. These volunteers are passionate and have been working with NParks on various initiatives such as coastal clean-ups and even in the design of the new dog run and bird perch that we are opening today. We are establishing the Friends of East Coast Park community group to deepen our partnership with the community and look forward to more ground-up ideas.”
Inaugural FoECP meeting in October 2020
At the inaugural e-meeting held in October 2020 and hosted by Mr Tan Kiat How, nine friends made up of the pet community, sustainability movement and ECP tenants came together and exchanged views over the sustainable management of the park. Present were partners such as Mr Francis Mitchell, representative from Bird Craze; Ms Samantha Thian, youth founder of social enterprise Seastainable Co.; Ms Carol Tan, district manager with Starbucks Coffee (NParks’ tenant); Mr Steven Lim, Chairman of Friends of Park Connector Network and Mr Sivasothi N., Chairman of Friends of Chestnut Nature Park and founder of various nature groups and organisations.
During the session, stakeholders shared ideas and proposals for the park. These included sharing on existing programmes such as the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore and the promotion of sustainable fishing etiquette, as well as identifying potential new projects such as sustainability initiatives with park tenants and stakeholders, education on safe cycling and cycling etiquette, and the expansion of beach clean-up projects to address the challenge of excessive waste generation.
Importance of balance in the management of the park
With an average of 7.5 million visits annually, East Coast Park is Singapore’s largest and most popular park. At 185ha, the area offers a diverse range of recreational uses, from family-friendly nodes and gathering spaces such as Marine Cove to high activity zones such as the Cyclist Park. As a highly visited park with a wide range of recreational offerings, while also being a site of marine ecological significance, there is a need to balance the management of the park on three fronts – nature, economic and social.
Members of the public who are interested to contribute to Friends of East Coast Park, or who would like to be involved can sign up at https://www.nparks.gov.sg/friendsoftheparks.
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