Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum
Closed every last Monday of the Month
Gallop House No. 5 (Atbara) is Singapore’s oldest surviving colonial era or black-and-white bungalow. Built in 1898, it now houses the Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum, which showcases Singapore’s forest ecosystems, and highlights the importance of conserving them. Through a series of interpretive and interactive displays, visitors can enjoy a bird's eye view of Singapore’s diverse forests, and learn about the Gardens’ historical role in conserving them. Highlights include a photographic installation of forest trees, family-friendly displays and videos featuring three distinctive forest habitats found in Singapore, and their unique flora and fauna.
The Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum will also host the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Tropical Forest Ecology Research programme. This programme reprises a historical role for the Singapore Botanic Gardens, which dates back to the late 1800s. One of the Gardens’ early superintendents, Nathaniel Cantley, was tasked to survey the forests in the Straits Settlement in 1882. His report led to the demarcation of the first forest reserves in Singapore in 1884, in order to prevent the ecology and climate from further deteriorating.
Complementing the Forest Discovery Centre is the OCBC Arboretum, which is a first-of-its-kind high-tech arboretum in Southeast Asia. Opened in October 2019, the arboretum plays an important role in the Gardens’ conservation work, housing and displaying the Gardens’ growing collection of rare dipterocarps.