SINGAPORE: A new park will be developed to form a “green lung” in the upcoming Bidadari estate, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) announced on Sunday (May 5).
The 10-hectare Bidadari Park will feature a lake, a heritage walk, experiential trails and a play area for children.
In designing the park, the team drew inspiration from the fictional Hundred Acre Wood in the Winnie-the-Pooh children’s series, said HDB.
“The team behind the planning and design of the park saw the opportunity to retain the wooded and rustic nature of Bidadari and to create a unique park experience for visitors,” it added.
INTEGRATING DEVELOPMENT WITH NATURE
Apart from retaining more than 350 mature trees in the area, the park will also be home to more than 2,000 new trees.
To increase the diversity of habitats and wildlife in the park, wetland and marsh habitats will be introduced.
Residents can explore trails spanning 6km or walk along an 80m-long boardwalk across the marshland.
“At strategic locations, observation decks, viewing sheds, and pavilions will serve as tranquil rest spots for visitors, offering different views of nature in a rustic and naturalised setting,” said HDB.
HDB noted that Bidadari is a natural sanctuary for wildlife, as it is connected to five nature ways, including Kallang Nature Way and Braddell Nature Way.
Suggestions from the Nature Society (Singapore) on how to enrich biodiversity were taken on board, said HDB.
For instance, a 19m-wide eco-link will be built between Bidadari Park and Hillock Park, to form a safe passage for visitors and wildlife across Bidadari Park Drive.
Bidadari is also well-known in the birdwatching community as a magnet for migratory birds. During the migration months from October to April each year, migratory birds from all over the world appear.
"Now what this tells us is that Bidadari might be experiencing what they call the Central Park effect, which is that when you have a green patch surrounded entirely by grey, by urbanity, migratory birds within funnel through these green areas, in reasonably high volumes," said ornithologist David Tan from the National University of Singapore (NUS).
"The story of Bidadari is an interesting one, because it shows us just how urban wilderness can be very valuable, in terms of the big picture, in terms of biodiversity conservation.
"Bidadari is a test case for the potential that urban wilderness holds for migrating birds in and maybe even other migrating animals like butterflies and potentially other insects too."
To remind residents of the history of Bidadari, which was once home to the Alkaff Lake Garden built in 1929 by the Alkaff family, a 700m heritage walk will be introduced in the estate.
The tree-lined heritage walk will cut across the park and link Woodleigh MRT station to a new Memorial Garden, which will recount the history and stories of Bidadari’s past through a series of storyboards, said HDB.
The park will also include a playground called Adventure Playwoods, featuring a 5m-tall treehouse with slides and climbing nets.
Bidadari Park is expected to be completed progressively by 2022.
The estate, when fully developed, will have about 10,000 housing units. The first batch of Built-to-Order flats in Bidadari was launched in 2015 and such flats remain in high demand.
The first flats are expected to be completed this year.
Additional reporting by Cheryl Lin.