Tag Archives: Nature Park

Outward Bound Singapore SGFuture at Coney Island

On a bright Sunday 14th February Valentine’s Day morning, I was out early in the morning, with two of my friends, Joe and DK, to join a group of young and youthful people on a trek to Coney Island (located on the North East corner of Singapore) organised by Outward Bound Singapore (OBS). I went to Coney Island not too long ago, explored the little island and I wanted to go back again soon after that. For this morning trek, NParks volunteers conducted a guided tour of Coney Island and they brought this group of youths along for a morning trek to Coney Island, sharing with them knowledge about nature, environment, conservation, wildlife, protection. Mr Baey Yam Keng, Parlimentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, graced the morning trek together with the group of young nature lovers for the 4km trek to Coney Island!

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It was fun to follow along this group of youth during the Sunday morning trek, all these activities resonate with me a lot, with my roots from my Boy Scout days when I was with the Gan Eng Seng School Dragon Scout Group (I am still a part of the Dragon Scout Group family) Outdoors, nature, trekking were some of my favourite outdoor recreational activities and I am still enjoying them as much as I can. Although I didn’t engage this group of young people that went for the morning trek, it was great to see their enthusiasm and fun loving nature! They were taken care of by the NParks volunteers and OBS instructors. During the trek, I was brought back into my own memories where I continued to help out at my alma mater, the Gan Eng Seng School Dragon Scout Group, mentoring and chatting to my juniors.

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During the trek, I took the chance to observe the flora and fauna, breathe in the fresh air, enjoy the lush greenery and tranquility on Coney Island. I did manage to spot some birds and wildlife and I would plan another trip to go back again for another round of wildlife/nature photography walkabout. For those who would like to see more of Coney Island, do drop by my Flickr collection and take a look! If you have not visited Coney Island, do plan a day to visit Coney Island and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life!

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At the end of the morning trek to Area C, near the mangrove swamp and beach area, this group of young nature lovers sat down in their respective groups with their OBS instructors and have an interactive discussion on how they feel about SGFuture, the natural environment, how to make and encourage more youths to appreciate the rich biodiversity in Singapore. Mr Baey was very enthusiastic, joining the various groups during their discussion, listening to them and encouraged them to contribute more ideas to expand OBS’ existing environmental education efforts to reach out to more youths on their outdoor education and recreation programs.

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“I’m pleased to see many young nature-lovers spending the morning of Valentine’s Day here at Coney Island. Youths are always looking for something fresh to interest them and today’s activity is one of such engagements. As youths are the future leaders who would see Singapore through SG100, it is important for them to be aware and proactive in conserving the environment,” said Mr. Baey.

Source: National Youth Council press release

Personally, it is very comforting to see this group of young people passionate and loving the natural environment in Singapore, even though Singapore is a very small country that is largely urbanised! I sincerely hope that this group of young people can go back, to their family and friends, to pass-it-on and spread the awareness on nature, conservation, preservation and protection of the small precious natural environment in Singapore.

At the end of the event, walking out of Coney Island, back towards the main land, I had a fun morning trek to the outdoors and be close to nature again. While Singapore is indeed a small country that is largely urbanised, we still have our gorgeous natural environment for us to visit and get away from the city life that we lead. It is up to each and everyone of us, the youth of today, our SGFuture, to continue loving and protecting the natural environment of Singapore.

Kranji Marshes – A Freshwater Marshland

The Kranji Marshes, Singapore’s largest freshwater marshland was recently declared opened to the public on 1st February 2016. With a size of 56.8 hectares, the Kranji Marshes is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, with more than 170 species of birds, 54 species of butterflies and 33 species of dragonflies making Kranji Marshes their home. For a small country like Singapore, we have green and nature areas, such as the newly opened Kranji Marshes, that the locals and international visitors can get away from the hectic city life to visit and enjoy the lush greenery, peace, quietness and tranquility!

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There are two areas inside the Kranji Marshes, the public area and a restricted area that is accessible through guided tours. The restricted area is the core conservation area and this would allow this ecologically sensitive site to grow back the vegetation and the wildlife to come back there.

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Map of Kranji Marshes (Source: NParks website)

I remembered walking along Neo Tiew Lane 2 a few years ago, visiting Kranji Marshes when it wasn’t developed at all, I was there to look for the Blue-Eared Kingfisher that resides in the Kranji Marshes (I did not manage to find it though). While there were some physical changes, with the addition of the raptor tower and bird hides at the public access area, most of the Kranji Marshes remained untouched and not spoilt by the structural developments to convert Kranji Marshes into a beautiful nature park, Singapore’s largest freshwater marshland.

When you are walking in from the park entrance towards the Marsh Station, the Neo Tiew Woods is on your right, keep a lookout at the tall trees and greenery and you spot some wildlife high up in the trees!

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The Kranji Marshes is a beautiful destination, lush greenery, quiet and peaceful, accompanied by the sounds of many different species of birds residing/visiting Kranji Marshes. During my recent two trips to Kranji Marshes after her official opening, I was able to spot and photograph a small number of different species of birds residing/visiting Kranji Marshes, do take a look at my Kranji Marshes (Avian) collection here on Flickr! With over 170 species of birds recorded at Kranji Marshes, I hope that I am able to photograph each different species of over 170 birds recorded at Kranji Marshes into my Flickr collection.

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The Raptor Tower is ideal to catch the sunrise across Kranji Reservoir, it also gives a bird’s eye panoramic view of the Kranji Reservoir and the Kranji Marshes. At the top of the Raptor Tower, you might be on the same eye level with the birds on the trees nearby the tower! There are two bird hides there, the Moorhen Blind and Swamphen Hide. They are great to sit down, wait, observe and look out for the different species of birds that visit the marshland.

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If you love the outdoors, nature and wildlife, Kranji Marshes is a very nice destination to visit. Bird photographers would love the Kranji Marshes, they would be able to photograph the bird species that visit/reside in Kranji Marshes. I might go back again to document/photograph more bird/wildlife species at Kranji Marshes before the end of the migratory season in March 2016.

Key Information for visitors to Kranji Marshes

Location

Kranji Gate

11 Neo Tiew Lane 2

Singapore 718814

Opening Hours

7am to 7pm daily

 Tel: 67941401
Fax: 67937271
Email: nparks_sbwr@nparks.gov.sg

More information can be found here on the NParks website.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Coney Island is now open to the public

Coney Island, formerly known as Pulau Serangoon, is now open to the public. I remembered Coney Island in the 90s when it was a camping spot for canoe trips and I didn’t manage to join any of the canoe trips. Around the Coney Island region, it is also a popular spot for jet ski too. I didn’t know much about the history of Coney Island, at the moment, Coney Island earliest history records showed it was owned by the Aw family that built Haw Par Villa in the 1930s. If I am able to gather more information from my research, I would do an update in another article after I visit Coney Island again at a later date for more photography and nature walk.

With huge developments around the North East part of Singapore, Sengkang and Punggol Housing Estates. The 50ha Coney Island was kind of forgotten for sometime, closed to the public. On 10th October 2015, it was officially opened to the public, became part of the National Parks (Nparks) Park Connector Network (PCN) and added to the list of Nature Parks in Singapore. The Singapore Government has some plans in place for Coney Island, residential, recreational, sport and nature. At this point in time, Coney Island is not immediately required for development, therefore, it will be kept as a Nature Park for now. I am hoping that Coney Island will not go through any developments at all, leave it as she is now, a Nature Park with beautiful greenery and outdoors for leisure and recreational use in Singapore. You can walk, jog, cycle, relax and enjoy Coney Island, besides that, it is also a place for wildlife to stay too.

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When I read the news that Coney Island was going to be officially open to the public on 10th October 2015, I decided to visit and explore Coney Island. My fellow social media friend, HP, came along with me too in exploring Coney Island. Although Singapore is a very small country, she has her greenery and outdoors too! Coney Island is off mainland Singapore, seperated by two bridges (entrances to Coney Island) on the west and east end of Coney Island and a small stretch of the sea.

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Hiking inside the forest wonderland, strolling along the beach, this was a really peaceful and tranquil exploration. I was enjoying this beautiful green destination along with leisure walkers, joggers, cyclists, photographers, nature lovers. I was trying to spot the wildlife, they were shy yesterday on the 10th October 2015 and I only managed to spot the Brahminy Kites and an Egret, nevertheless, I hope to spot more wildlife and photograph them when I return again to explore Coney Island, a destination for me to relax and be away from the hustle and bustle crazy rat race environment in Singapore.

I would love to be strolling along the beach of Coney Island enjoying the sea breeze, listening to the waves coming onto the shore, or walking among the tall dreamy green forest. I hope to spot the beautiful birds staying there, listening to their chirping and singing. As a photographer, the lalang fields, tall grasslands and green forest make ideal and interesting locations for outdoor theme shoots such as outdoor wedding or fashion shoot.

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Take a look at some of the photographs that I took on Coney Island, on my Flickr account. For more information on Coney Island, check out Nparks website! I haven’t fully explore Coney Island and I hope to go back again, to enjoy the greenery, the outdoors, the peace and tranquility.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Explore Gardens By The Bay with Mobile App!

Have you visited the beautiful Gardens By The Bay in Singapore? I had been visiting and covering Gardens By The Bay in Singapore before she was officially opened, during her official opening and over the time Gardens By The Bay had grown and expanded in the subsequent phases such as the Children’s Garden and Sun Pavilion. Over the past few years, I had seen Gardens By The Bay expanding their events, activities and facilities to constantly attract more local and international visitors to Gardens By The Bay.

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As much as I walked and explored a lot around Gardens By The Bay, in my birding photography adventure. There is still a part of Gardens By The Bay that I still haven’t explore and discover about. There is a big list of many different types of flora and fauna at Gardens By The Bay and I can never remember all of their names! On top of that, there are also more flora and fauna that I still haven’t explore yet! When you visit Gardens By The Bay, do you face a challenge to identify the plants, trees, flowers etc?

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You don’t need to worry anymore now! You can now explore Gardens By The Bay together with your smartphone application! They recently launched its first mobile application, designed using cutting-edge technology to enhance visitors’ experiences. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the app will engage and excite visitors through a series of interactive trails, games, educational tools and information about the Gardens’ unique horticulture. Check out the Gardens By The Bay mobile application screen shots below!

4) Activities - Hidden Secrets

5) Activities - Build Your Garden

6) Activities - Where in the World

7) Tree of Knowledge

The Gardens by the Bay mobile app will serve as a practical multimedia guide, providing an introduction to the vast collection of plant life throughout the Gardens and explanations of the diverse habitats around the world. Using GPS and way-finding technology, the app will offer an interactive map and encourage visitors to explore hidden locations, earning them virtual rewards for finding these secret spots and completing scavenger-like challenges. Available in five languages – English, Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and Japanese – the app will engage visitors through educational games that reinforce horticultural learning, augmented reality that encourage users to uncover virtual plants, and sharing on social media. The Gardens by the Bay app is now available on both Apple and Android platforms and can be downloaded for free via iTunes and Google Play. Information on the app is available at www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/mobileapp.

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I was introduced to the Gardens By The Bay mobile application very recently, before her official release on Monday 17th November 2014. We had a fun time exploring Gardens By The Bay, looking for the trees, leaves, flowers, tree trunks and scanning their QR code! This Gardens By The Bay mobile application is very useful for the family with children! Not only the whole family can have fun together to explore and learn more about nature, flora and fauna. There are also games for the children to play and learn!

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Not only can you explore with your smartphone, the tablet can be ideal too for exploring Gardens By The Bay! The children is going to have a fun time, running and looking for the various flora and fauna at Gardens By The Bay! The school holidays are here and it’s a great family bonding and learning experiences activity that you can do at Gardens By The Bay with their mobile application! Come on down and explore Gardens By The Bay with the mobile application!

* I would like to thank Gardens By The Bay for hosting us to a preview of the mobile application, for the snapshot photos of the mobile application and having a tryout with it before its official release! *

New Nature Park in Singapore Opens !

I was surfing and reading my fellow local blogger/friend, Seen This Scene That and found out from his post that Dairy Farm Nature Park is officially opened !! It was declared opened by Mr Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development, with news reported on AsiaOne and National Parks Board.

The Dairy Farm Nature Park brought back my memories when I was a Boy Scout in Dragon Scout Group and hiking was a very fun activity for us and we hiked from the summit of Bukit Timah Hill downwards to Dairy Farm and had our outdoor fun and activities there. Still remembered the ancient house used for filming (martial arts dramas) at the Dairy Farm Quarry (if my memories recalled correctly). Check out the National Parks Board webpage on Dairy Farm Nature Park and check out the map by National Parks Board below –

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I haven’t been there yet, looking around the photos taken by other fellow bloggers, it looks great and fun, well connected to the park connectors and cycling trails. Feeling excited and looking forward to plan another photography walkabout to take photos of Dairy Farm Nature Park.