An eco-garden for all

An eco-garden for all

Since the new Jurong Eco-Garden opened last Sunday, it has drawn a steady stream of visitors, such as parents with their children, senior citizens and bird watchers, eager to explore its freshwater swamp, streams and walking trails.

Ms Trixie Tan, 50, a member of the Nature Society of Singapore's conservation committee, was at the garden for the first time on Wednesday, along with fellow bird-watching enthusiasts from the society.

"I want to get a feel of the garden," she says. "This will become a good place for bird-watching as more species appear."

If Mr Leow Thiam Seng, 47, director of JTC's Aerospace, Marine & CleanTech cluster, had his way, there will be even more visitors such as Ms Tan as he hopes to see more community involvement within the garden.

"By designing Jurong Eco-Garden to be open and accessible, we want more people to visit and participate in future activities here. It will increase ownership of the garden among the community," says Mr Leow, who oversees the development of CleanTech Park.

The eco-garden, a project by JTC Corporation, is located at CleanTech Park. The eco-business facility next to the Nanyang Technological University is an industrial estate dedicated to the research and development of sustainable solutions. Jurong Eco-Garden's design represents a first for a garden in an industrial park in Singapore.

It sits on what was once a secondary forest, and boasts 5ha of lush greenery and wildlife, such as butterflies and migratory birds.

Mr Leow says that since it opened, photography and painting competitions have been held to encourage the public to share their knowledge about the biodiversity of the garden. There are also plans to work with schools and grassroots organisations to form a club with biodiversity-related activities, where members can exchange information and work together to nurture the biodiversity within the garden.

He says: "Through our design, we hope to bring the biodiversity nearer to residents and educate them."

But he hopes it will extend beyond learning, and that the public will go to the garden to simply enjoy the natural environment and be close to nature. "Perhaps it'll become a hotspot for wedding shoots in the future," he adds.

The garden is spread out over four main zones: Summit Forest, Wildlife Corridor, Stream Ravine and Freshwater Swamp Forest.

cherylm@sph.com.sg

Getting there: Jurong Eco-Garden can be accessed via CleanTech Loop.

The nearest bus stop for bus service 199 is at Nanyang Avenue (bus stop 27171, before Lorong Danau). From there, visitors can walk to Jurong Eco-Garden via the Level 1 Lobby of CleanTech One.

If going by car, parking is available at CleanTech One (1 CleanTech Loop).

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