Bishan Park revamp a hit with park lovers

Liew Wei Lin Straits Times 20 Feb 12;

Visitors to the Bishan Park recently were full of praise for its $76-million makeover.

'It is now less forested, more open and much airier than before,' says Ms Leah Francisco 40, a software engineer who travels every Saturday from Punggol where she lives to Bishan with her dogs for the dog run at the park.

The park was closed in October 2009 for an overhaul and has since re-opened to the public. It will be launched officially next month.

Among the new additions are wooden lounge chairs and benches scattered throughout the park for a relaxing place to take a rest after exercising.

A meandering 3km-long river, a key feature of the revamped park, has increased biodiversity by up to 30 per cent, according to Mr Kong Yit San, assistant chief executive of National Parks Board.

Such exciting changes have attracted marketing executive Serena Kwek, 37, and her family, to go to Bishan from their home in Bukit Merah.

'My children love exploring nature and Bishan Park has provided them with another natural environment in the heart of Singapore,' says Madam Kwek, who usually visits Changi beach and Pulau Ubin with her two pre-school children.

But some park visitors had laments. Some thought it was a pity the pavilions at the old park, which provided shelter when it rained, had disappeared,while dog owners were disappointed by the lack of a gate connecting the two dog runs, which facilitated movement of owners and their pets in the past.