SINGAPORE: Singaporeans will soon be able to find out more about trees in their neighbourhood with a newly launched online portal, Trees.sg. The National Parks Board (NParks) has plotted more than 500,000 urban trees on an interactive map, making it one of the most extensive tree maps in Asia.
The new portal was announced on Saturday (Mar 17) as part of a slew of initiatives to celebrate Singapore’s forests, raise awareness and involve the community in caring for trees.
Visitors to the portal can learn more about the different species of trees found in Singapore and how they are cared for, as well as indicate if a tree is flowering and upload photos of them.
NParks manages about two million trees planted along Singapore’s roadsides, parks and state land.
NParks group director of streetscapes, Oh Cheow Sheng said: “We will progressively plot in most of these trees, but recognise that in forested areas it is not possible to plot in every single tree ... where the trees are in forested areas, these are sometimes not very accessible because they are densely located and hard to map.”
He added that NParks is planning to work together with other agencies that manage trees, like town councils, to plot these trees.
RECREATING SINGAPORE’S FIRST BOTANIC GARDEN
Singapore’s First Botanic Garden was set up by Sir Stamford Raffles at Fort Canning. Restoration plans for the garden, including enhancement plans for Fort Canning Park and its surroundings, were announced in February.
On Saturday, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee planted a tree with members of the community to make the start of the heritage restoration works for the First Botanic Garden.
When completed, the restored garden will extend from Fort Canning Park and onto the streetscapes bounded by Hill Street, Victoria Street, Bras Basah Road, Handy Road and Canning Rise.
NParks said that the planting within the restored First Botanic Garden includes economic spices, ornamental plants, medicinal plants and native plants.
These plantings will be curated into a trail for visitors to learn more about the history of Fort Canning Park.
The agency is also working with developments within the boundaries of the gardens, like Singapore Management University and Park Mall, to incorporate the planting palette within their compounds as well.
Other new initiatives to encourage the public to learn more about Singapore’s urban forests include a new community led group Friends of TreesSg, and a new heritage tree trail in Chinatown.
“I am proud to say Singapore is one of the top on the list of cities with the highest tree density ... we will continue to support our collective push for greenery,” said Mr Lee.