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.