East Coast Park to see more facilities and open spaces by 2019

Lee Li Ying Channel NewsAsia 29 Jul 17;

SINGAPORE: More open spaces, improved accessibility and a wider range of amenities at East Coast Park can be expected when improvement works at three sites are completed in 2019, the National Parks Board (NParks) announced on Saturday (Jul 29).

The three sites, where improvement works will be implemented progressively from 2017 to 2019, are Raintree Cove, Big Splash and the site of the former Goldkist Chalets.

With enhanced amenities such as a bicycle park, water play area and open lawns, NParks hopes to funnel the crowd away from the more popular areas like Marine Cove.

The former Goldkist Chalets will be transformed into a bicycle park with cycle-through eateries, bicycle kiosks, circuits and trails for users of varying skill levels. It will serve as a pit-stop for cyclists using the 150km Round Island Route, said NParks.

At the iconic Big Splash, parts of the former water theme park will be retained and converted into a vertical playground with a lookout tower. It will be flanked by a shallow wading pool with multi-chromatic water jets. Sports activities and large-scale events can also be held at the site’s new amenities, such as a sand pit and multi-purpose lawn.

For those looking for respite, the revamped Raintree Cove will have a large open lawn framed by a series of gardens.

“Our focus right now is on this area because it is currently heavily used, very well utilised and very crowded," said NPark’s group director of parks development Kartini Omar. “Therefore, we see this need to redistribute and spread out the crowds and reduce congestion in this high activity zones so everyone can have a better experience at the park.”

As Singapore’s largest and most popular park, East Coast Park is visited an average of 7.5 million times annually.

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who opened the exhibition showcasing the improvement works, said: “NParks has done well to transform our recreational landscape and parklands, to enhance Singaporeans’ mental and physical well-being.

"My challenge to NParks is to make East Coast Park a beloved national icon and transcendent experience," he added.