Marsiling Park opens with new mangrove habitat, enhanced amenities for residents

CYNTHIA CHOO Today Online 29 Apr 18;

SINGAPORE – After almost two years of redevelopment works, a popular park at Marsiling now has a new name and improved facilities for residents.

Marsiling Park, formerly known as Woodlands Town Garden, was opened on Sunday (April 29) after a 22-month overhaul that gave the park a new mangrove habitat and enhanced recreational amenities.

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, who is also the adviser to Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Grassroots Organisations (GROs), graced the opening on Sunday morning with some 800 residents who attended a community event held in conjunction with the park's opening.

The 13-hectare park near Marsiling MRT station now features an enhanced mangrove forest with more than 1000 saplings of mangrove species, such as Api Api and White Teruntum.

Previously, the mangrove forest was blocked from public view by a dense layer of vegetation, which prevented the growth of new mangrove saplings.

Mangrove species that were endangered locally, like the Berembang, were also reintroduced.

The redevelopment works will open up opportunities for the public to learn more about mangrove ecosystems, said the National Parks Board (NParks).

Students from schools in the area, such as Marsiling Secondary School, will be involved in the monitoring of the flora and fauna at the mangrove area and document fauna species sighted throughout the park.

The data collected will help guide the development of long-term conservation management strategies, NParks added.

First opened in 1983 as Woodlands Town Garden, the park was renamed in 2016 after a public consultation process. At the time, residents expressed a strong interest in the renaming and the name Marsiling Park was eventually chosen.

Acting upon the feedback from residents, who stated that they wished to enjoy the park at all times of the day, NParks also installed more lamp posts to allow visitors to take evening strolls in the park.

Activity areas for children were also improved. For example, the butterfly playground has been complemented with educational interpretive boards to inform visitors about butterfly species that can be found within the park.

At another play area, equipment that makes musical sounds when played creates a different play experience for children. To cater to families, the park also has a new food and beverage outlet that is open round the clock.

To encourage residents in the Marsiling precinct to frequent the park more regularly, a community brisk walk event was also held on Sunday morning.

More activities, such as the Mid-Autumn Festival, will also be held at the park later this year, said NParks.

Marsiling park known for vice activities reopens after two-year facelift
Vanessa Lim Channel NewsAsia 29 Apr 18;

SINGAPORE: A park in Marsiling that became infamous for its vice activities reopened on Sunday (Apr 29) after nearly two years of enhancement works.

The former Woodlands Town Garden, now known as Marsiling Park, was closed for upgrading in July 2016 following feedback from residents.

Media reports had said residents complained about vice activities at the park, and those living in the area had avoided the park as they felt unsafe.

Speaking at the park’s reopening on Sunday, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said: "In the last few years, as you saw from the media reports, we had some vice activities in this area."

The park has now been transformed with the help of grassroots leaders, NParks as well as President Halimah Yaacob, who pushed for the park to be upgraded during her time as Member of Parliament for Marsiling, Mr Wong said.

The 13ha park now has a new butterfly-shaped playground – the only one of its kind in Singapore – a new boardwalk, heritage corner as well as a cafe that is open around the clock.

Lighting has also been improved and activity areas are now well-lit to allow visitors to enjoy the park and use its facilities in the evenings, NParks said.

The mangrove area has also been enhanced to allow visitors to get closer to nature. More than 1,000 saplings of mangrove species such as Api Api and White Teruntum were planted. Critically endangered local mangrove species such as the Berembang have also been reintroduced to boost the biodiversity and ecological resilience of the mangrove.

The park is part of the six “star attractions” that was introduced last year to revitalise the Woodlands estate. Other attractions include new recreational and residential developments.

As part of the third batch of estates under the Housing and Development Board’s Remaking Our Heartlands programme, the Woodlands estate will be spruced up over the next five to 10 years.

Source: CNA/cy