More communal gardens in the heartlands as part of new national master plan

More communal gardens in the heartlands as part of new national master plan

National gardening masterplan
(From left) Garden City Fund chairman Professor Leo Tan, Social and Family Development Minister Desmond Lee and NParks chairman Christina Ong planting a nam nam tree at the Community Garden Festival. (Photo: Dawn Ang)

SINGAPORE: More public gardening plots will be installed in parks across Singapore as part of the new national gardening master plan announced on Friday (Nov 3). 

A total of 160 gardening plots will be launched at HortPark, and another 200 across 10 other parks such as Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Clementi Woods Park and Punggol Park by the end of this year, the National Parks Board (NParks) said. 

Plots will be rented to interested parties at S$57 yearly, for up to three years. 

HortPark gardening plots
Existing public gardening plots at HortPark. (Photo: Dawn Ang)

"We plan to eventually have more than 1,000 allotment gardening plots for (all) to use," said Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee, who was speaking at NParks' biannual Community Garden Festival. 

The Edible Horticulture Masterplan has four focus areas in total, said Mr Lee.  

Under the plan, courses will be held for community garden enthusiasts and landscaping professionals. On Friday, NParks also unveiled a new training centre at HortPark - a refurbished colonial-style house named HortHouse, which will host arboriculture, botany and horticulture courses. Classes will begin in January next year.

Fast-growing edible plants that also bear fruit quickly will be promoted along with new gardening technologies. Education and outreach efforts to encourage community gardening activities among members of public, families and neighbours will also be ramped up.

The aim is to get more Singaporeans involved in the community gardening movement, said Mr Lee, who is also Minister for Social and Family Development.

NParks also announced on Friday that starting January, it will take over the management and development of the orchid sector from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, bringing the entire landscape industry under its scope.

The new HortHouse, where classes in botany and horticulture will be held. (Photo: Dawn Ang)

NParks will engage with landscape industry partners in the coming months to keep them abreast of developments such as on land tender and account manager changes, said Mr Chong Whye Keet, director at NParks' Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology.

Orchid industry partners can expect more details to be released early next year.

Source: CNA/hs