New ridge walk opens at Singapore Botanic Gardens as part of Gallop extension

New ridge walk opens at Singapore Botanic Gardens as part of Gallop extension

Nparks gallop extension ridge walk
The National Parks Board opened the Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge on Saturday, Oct 19, 2019. (Image: NParks)

SINGAPORE: Visitors to the Singapore Botanic Gardens can now walk on a ridge-top hiking trail which leads to the highest point in the gardens at around 40m above sea level. 

Along the way, there are plants from habitats found in the tropical hills of Southeast Asia, including carnivorous plants like the Raffles' Pitcher Plant.

The new trail, called the Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge, opened on Saturday (Oct 19) as part of the 8ha Gallop extension at the botanic gardens. 

"The Gallop Extension, located along Gallop Road, will strengthen the buffer for Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site against urban development," said the National Parks Board (NParks) in a media release.

Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge
Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge. (Photo: NParks) 

Raffles’ Pitcher Plant have specially modified leaves to lure and trap prey for food
Visitors will be able to view various unique plants, such as the Raffles’ Pitcher Plant, as they explore Rambler’s Ridge. (Photo: NParks) 

Another new attraction which opened on Saturday is the OCBC Arboretum. 

Described as a "living library of trees", the arboretum is touted as the first of its kind in Southeast Asia which houses more than 2,000 specimens of over 200 species of dipterocarps - giant forest trees that an grow up to 80m tall. 

An Internet of Things system is used to remotely and continuously monitor the trees and their environment as they grow.

An environmental sensor at the OCBC Arboretum.
The OCBC Arboretum is touted as the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. (Photo: NParks)

At the opening on Saturday, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong noted that when the Singapore Botanic Gardens was established 160 years ago, it had only 22ha of space. 

With the Gallop extension, it will be almost four times larger at 82ha. 

READ: 7 things to look forward to at Singapore Botanic Garden's Gallop extension

"I think all of us can be proud of how far the Gardens has come in the last 160 years," said Mr Wong. "It has grown into a world-class botanical garden and a premier institution for research, conservation, and botany."

Gallop extension OCBC arboretum
Artist impression of OCBC arboretum, part of the planned Gallop extension to the Botanic Gardens. (Image: NParks)

More new features will open at the Gallop extension next year, including two conservation houses.

One of them is the Forest Discovery Centre, where visitors can learn about different forest habitats through exhibits, workshops, and activities on forest ecology.

The other is the Botanical Art Gallery, where visitors can browse rare books and art from the Gardens’ collection.

There will also be a nature-inspired play area for children, as well as a canopy link that was announced earlier this year.

botanic gardens gallop extension kids playing
Artist impression of COMO Adventure Cove, part of the planned Gallop extension to the Botanic Gardens. (Image: NParks)

NParks has planned a lineup of activities to mark the opening of the ridge and the arboretum. 

Over this weekend and the next, there will be concerts, guided tours, a movie screening, children's craft activities, as well as talks and demonstrations by botanical artists. 

Details can be found on NParks' website. 

Source: CNA/nr(gs)

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