New green spots to roam in the east

New green spots to roam in the east
REJUVENATED: A 900m stretch of Sungei Api Api has been turned into a vibrant green corridor, while a 1.1km stretch along Sungei Tampines has new decks and a community plaza to bring people closer to the river.

Singaporeans can now enjoy a beautiful view of foliage and clear flowing water along two rivers in Pasir Ris and Tampines.

A 900m stretch of Sungei Api Api between the Tampines Expressway and Pasir Ris Drive 3 has been turned into a vibrant green corridor, with more plants along the water's edge and canal walls, as well as wider footpaths, shelters, lookout decks and seats.

At a 1.1km stretch along Sungei Tampines, also between the expressway and Pasir Ris Drive 3, new decks and a community plaza will bring people closer to the river.

National water agency PUB opened its two latest Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters projects yesterday, a rejuvenation initiative to turn Singapore's drains, canals and reservoirs into beautiful areas that are integrated with surrounding parks and spaces.

As of last month, 27 projects have been completed under the ABC programme, which started in 2006.

Six more are slated to start this year, including one at the Bukit Batok Canal that began in January.

In the projects which opened yesterday, rain gardens and a cleansing biotope - a collection of plants and materials like soil and rocks - were created along the waterways to show how plants and soil can be used to treat rainwater.

The rain gardens use plants like Leucophyllum Frutescens (Texas ranger) and Loropetalum Chinense Var Rubrum (Chinese fringe-flower), three layers of soil and a pipe system to filter rainwater and channel it to the river.

The cleansing biotope uses highly porous materials like lava stone and hardy plants to remove sediments and some nutrients naturally from the rainwater.

Two mangrove sculptures were also erected at the entrance of Pasir Ris Drive 1 to represent the mangrove trees along Sungei Api Api. PUB minimised the impact of the lookout decks' construction on the mangroves by confining it to the canal's embankment.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who was the guest of honour at the opening, said he hoped residents will enjoy the two waterways' transformation and improved facilities. "Let us all also play our part to keep the environment and waterways clean by not littering," said Mr Teo, who is also an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.

Pasir Ris resident Chiang Lan Eng said Sungei Tampines was pleasant in the past, but the makeover has made it even better. The 73-year-old retiree said: "While doing my daily exercise, I can relax by the river and take in the clean and beautiful view."

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