Phase 2 of Admiralty Park opens to public

Woodlands residents can look forward to a closer experience with nature, with the opening of Phase Two of Admiralty Park – a 20-hectare nature area.

Home to more than 100 species of animals and plants, the nature area at the Admiralty Park is the biggest nature area within a park in Singapore.

Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Minister for Health and Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC, officiated at the event on Saturday morning together with fellow MPs Mr K. Shanmugam, Dr Lim Wee Kiak and Ms Ellen Lee.

At 27 hectares, Admiralty Park is the largest park in the Northwest district to offer both recreational amenities and a mangrove swamp. It has a hilly terrain shaped like a river valley to reflect the history of the site, which used to have a river (Sungei Cina) running through it. Phase One, comprising seven hectares of recreational space, was officially opened in October last year.

Construction works for Phase Two started in September 2007 and took about nine months to complete.

With Phase Two completed, the park now has three boardwalks and a 2-kilometre trail the public can explore.

The park is unique because of the variety of mangrove plants, such as the Nipah Palm from which you can harvest what’s called “attap chee”, an ingredient found in local desserts.

Mr Khaw, who joined nearly 1,200 residents on the morning trail, said kids who have grown up in built-up housing estates can learn much from the park.

He said: “For us, growing up in a kampong, we can relate to all these but the next generation growing up in HDB (flats), they may not appreciate all these attap trees, seeds, lalang, birds, and mangrove swamps.”

The park will be a great asset for the residents living nearby, he added.

Just like the vegetation and natural elements have a symbiotic relationship with each other, the park itself has a relationship with its neighbours. In this case, it is the Republic Polytechnic.

The school is experimenting with using waste wood from the park to lower the amount of electricity air-conditioners consume.

The wood rot helps a drying agent to absorb humidity from the environment, which helps the cooling process.

Dr Wong Luh Cheng from the Republic Polytechnic’s School of Applied Science said: “We came across this de-gasification process in which we can extract energy from the plant without creating smoke and other pollutants and it’s clean burning. We will take this heat, and we dehumidify the air through a mechanism that we devised.”

The park will also be a live classroom for the polytechnic students.

More than 30 Republic Polytechnic students and staff have also been trained to give guided tours of the park.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 4 Oct 2008

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