Admiralty destination park to open in 2015

Children will be able to play on one-of-a-kind giant slides at Admiralty Park when it reopens in 2015 as Singapore's first "destination park".

Two other parks, at Jurong Lake and East Coast, which are part of this new park concept, will also boast unique features when they reopen in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

The new East Coast Park will get distinctive beach-themed play sculptures, while visitors will be able to "island-hop" between nature playgrounds at the redesigned Jurong Lake Park.

The National Parks Board (NParks) gave this update Friday at a media preview of additions to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The destination park concept was announced last year by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as part of the vision to turn Singapore into a "city in a garden".

The three parks were selected for redevelopment due to their locations in northern, eastern and western Singapore. They are expected to become regional hubs that attract residents from all over the island because they have features not usually found in public parks here. The NParks has said that more parks may be turned into destination parks if the public calls for more of them.

Artist's impressions of the three parks form part of the "Living in a Garden" exhibition, which runs from Saturday to June at the Botanic Gardens. It celebrates Singapore's 50 years of greenery efforts. The exhibition will be housed at a new gallery developed by the City Developments (CDL) property group. PM Lee will officially open the gallery and a new heritage museum Saturday.

The 314 sq m CDL Green Gallery will feature botanical and greenery-related exhibits that are changed every six to nine months. It was built with several eco-friendly technologies, including "hempcrete", a type of construction material made largely from the hemp plant.

It also draws enough power from solar panels for all its needs, making it energy self-sufficient. The 240 sq m museum will detail the gardens' 154-year history. It features interactive panels, old photographs, plant specimens and botanical paintings that date back to the early 19th century.

NParks chief executive Poon Hong Yuen said: "Through the exhibits, we hope more Singaporeans will better appreciate our green heritage."

Both are mentioned in the gardens' proposed application to be Singapore's first Unesco World Heritage Site. These are cultural or natural attractions deemed by the United Nations body to have outstanding universal value.

According to the application documents, the museum provides information about the gardens' values, while the green gallery is an example of its "sustainability ethos". Singapore will submit its nomination by next February.

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