Fifty years ago, then PM Mr Lee Kuan Yew planted a Mempat tree at Farrer Circus, and started Singapore’s highly successful greening campaign. Singapore, the Garden City, was conceived and shaped through that act 50 years ago.
Through this campaign and the dedication and commitment of generations of Singaporeans, our city is now filled with majestic trees, colourful flowers and vibrant parks. All Singaporeans benefit.
NParks has planned a series of activities and programmes throughout this year to commemorate the successful greening of Singapore.
Yesterday morning, we kick-started the year long activities with the launch of Community in Action for Kheam Hock – an initiative involving NParks, the Nature Society (Singapore), community gardening volunteers and the local community. I joined the local residents of Kheam Hock to plant a tree, Nipis Kulit, a bird-attracting tree native to Singapore.
Kheam Hock Road is the key project in this greening initiative. It connects the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and the Singapore Botanic Gardens. By creating a Nature Way, birds and butterflies would be able to move freely along this green corridor from one green space to another.
Three other Nature Ways will be created at Admiralty, Tampines and Yishun.
Many people from all walks of life came together to do their part for nature. I met Aerin, a Primary 2 girl at nearby Singapore Chinese Girls’ School (SCGS). She wrote letters to residents in nearby Camden Park to encourage them to participate in this Kheam Hock project.
I met Uncle Tony who uses creative methods to help children appreciate nature through gardening. Together with Mdm Salbiah, he worked with the SCGS students to create ‘Kokedama’, a Japanese bonsai. He also taught the students how to make beautiful garden pieces from recycled bottles.
I met Marc Cremades and Prof Ng Soon Chye who co-authored a new book “Hornbills in the City”, documenting their successful mission in bringing back the majestic hornbills to some parts of Singapore.
I met many more, including Mr Allen Ang of CDL, a Community in Bloom ambassador.
Their passion for the environment and their enthusiasm to make Singapore even greener is simply infectious. After 50 years, our greening campaign has entered its next phase of an extensive ground-up effort, with Singaporeans playing critical role in helping to shape our City in a Garden.
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