One-stop gardening lifestyle hub to be opened in 2007

Singapore aims to be a tropical centre of excellence in the gardening industry, and is building one of the first all-in-one parks in Asia that combines horticulture retail with recreation.More Singaporeans are growing green fingers, and gardening groups have increased from 150 in 2005, to the present 200.

That number may just grow further with a new $13m “HortPark”, being constructed at a 23-hectare site linking Telok Blangah Hill Park to Kent Ridge Park.

When completed next year, it will showcase NParks’ nursery, previously closed to the public, and allow visitors to learn gardening, hands-on, at 20 interactive theme gardens.

There will be a “HortMart” for visitors to seek gardening inspiration and buy anything on gardening under one roof.

“There will be a time where harvesting of fruits and vegetables will take place. We envisage that we can organise events or participation for the park users. They can come and help us with the harvesting of the vegetables. In the process of helping us, it will be part and parcel of education and then how to use the vegetables and all that,” said Kong Yit San, Director (Parks), NParks.

“To make Singapore truly a city in a garden, there is a great need to enable people to feel a sense of ownership in this city in a garden of ours. That can only be done by facilitating the interest and the growth of gardening among Singaporeans. HortPark will provide that venue as a one-stop place where people can find out more about ‘how-to’ in gardening,” said Dr Leong Chee Chiew, Chief Operating Officer, NParks.

According to NParks, it’s more than just about building more gardens and lining the streets with more trees and flowers. It’s really about creating a better living environment as the city develops and modernises, and such efforts, according to NParks have been emulated by other major cities in the world, like Beijing, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai.

Source: Channel NewsAsia, 02 November 06  

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