NParks opens new HPL Canopy Link bridge at Singapore Botanic Gardens
17 Nov 2022
- New bridge marks completion of Tyersall-Gallop Core of the Gardens
- Singapore Botanic Gardens is now fully connected and accessible for all, with support of the community
The National Parks Board (NParks) today opened the new HPL Canopy Link, a 200-metre-long and 2.4-metre-wide barrier-free pedestrian bridge that will provide seamless access between the Learning Forest and Gallop Extension at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The opening of the HPL Canopy Link marks the completion of the Tyersall-Gallop Core of the Gardens, which enlarges the Gardens’ forest habitats and plant collections, increases the nature experiences for its visitors, and serves as a buffer for the UNESCO World Heritage Site from urban development.
Map showing the Singapore Botanic Gardens (Credit NParks)
With the bridge, the Singapore Botanic Gardens is now fully connected and accessible for all visitors, including families with young children and those with mobility disabilities. This will bring greenery closer to visitors and contribute to the Gardens’ vision of connecting people with plants and encouraging a greater appreciation for Singapore’s natural heritage.
Minister for Home Affairs & Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam officiated the opening of the bridge. The HPL Canopy Link was supported by Hotel Properties Limited through NParks’ registered charity and IPC, the Garden City Fund.
HPL Canopy Link
Map showing the HPL Canopy Link, located in the Tyersall-Gallop Core of the Gardens (Credit NParks)
Starting from the Learning Forest’s bambusetum, the HPL Canopy Link gradually ascends to an elevation of 7 metres, providing a vantage point overlooking the collection of more than 30 species of tropical bamboos before leading visitors into the canopy of a recreated lowland deciduous forest habitat. This is a habitat that is commonly found in Continental Southeast Asia, a region encompassing Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. The bridge then crosses over Tyersall Avenue and brings visitors directly into the ridgetop forest habitats at the Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge of the Gallop Extension, which features the highest point in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The meandering and gently ascending bridge encourages visitors to slow down and experience nature closer, including deciduous tree species such as Dipterocapus alatus (Yang Na), Lagerstroemia floribunda (Malayan Crape Myrtle), Sindora siamensis, and Corypha lecomtei (Lan Palm).
The Tyersall-Gallop Core is the latest addition to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, contributing to the Gardens’ role as a leading tropical botanical institute and aim to bring greenery closer to people. The 18-hectare core, comprising the Learning Forest and Gallop Extension, brings the total area of the Singapore Botanic Gardens to 82 hectares, the largest in its 163-year history.
Opened progressively since 2017, the Tyersall-Gallop Core offers visitors an opportunity to experience a range of habitats representative of the Southeast Asian region, including those that are not typically easily accessible, in one single location. This was achieved through detailed understanding of the historical character of the site and undertaking sensitive ecological restoration. This sets the benchmark for other tropical botanic gardens in showcasing not only individual plant species but also important habitats. For example, the SPH Walk of Giants and Keppel Discovery Wetlands of the Learning Forest feature lowland forests and freshwater swamp forests that were once found in the area.
The Tyersall-Gallop Core also strengthens the Gardens’ role in research, conservation and education. The OCBC Arboretum serves as both a conservation site and an avenue for research and education, with a collection of Dipterocarps, forest giants of the region’s tropical rain forests. The growth of these trees in this high-tech smart arboretum are monitored using a range of technology (e.g., Lidar and multispectral scans) and environmental conditions are continuously monitored via a system of weather stations. This area also houses the Forest Discovery Centre, a gallery dedicated to research, conservation and outreach of Singapore’s native forests, and the Botanical Art Gallery, which highlights the beauty and vital role of art in research and nature conservation through its display of botanical art.
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