Singapore has a huge array of botanical biodiversity, with over 4,600 floral species and approximately 1,612 native plant species found all around our country. Thanks to the initiatives and decades of hard work put in by our government and stakeholders since the 1960s, we can enjoy and revel in the lush nature and vibrant life that surrounds us today.
Today, the pursuit of transforming our country into a sustainable City in Nature is still gaining traction, with new nature parks being opened and mangrove restoration projects kicking off. As we celebrate the International Day of Forests today, let’s all take this opportunity to appreciate our natural green spaces and play our part to protect it. We’ve put together three easy ideas for you to start making a difference and contributing to the preservation of our green heritage.
Beyond providing cooler air temperatures in Singapore’s hot and humid climate, trees help to mitigate the effects of urbanisation by reducing air pollution and providing habitats for wildlife. With approximately 7 million trees in Singapore, there is much that we can learn about the lush greenery around us.
As part of the OneMillionTrees Movement that aims to restore nature back into our city by planting an additional one million trees across Singapore over the next 10 years, TreesSG is a resource powered by National Parks Board (NParks) that can help you learn about Singapore’s urban trees on an interactive map.
For those who love an on-ground adventure, TreesSG has downloadable DIY Trails with specially designed routes that allow you to navigate your way around our Heritage Trees at your own pace. If you’re curious about the trees you see everyday, you can even gain insights about the trees in your neighbourhood with the TreesSG interactive map. Simply click on any tree on the map to learn about its name and characteristics, and the benefits it provides. You can even use the map to share your sightings of flowering trees with your own tree photos!
If you’d like to contribute to the movement, you can also make a donation to NParks’ registered charity and IPC, Garden City Fund, which will go towards reforestation efforts and help restore degraded ecosystems. With a simple donation covering the cost of a single tree, NParks will help to plant a tree around the heartlands of Singapore. If you are interested, you can participate through TreesSG’s website.
To encourage ecological connectivity and connect fragmented habitats that may have been previously destroyed by deforestation, NParks started rolling out the “Rewilding Plan”, by progressively planting native trees, shrubs and wildflowers along stretches of our nature corridors and green spaces. Part of the Rewilding Plan includes the implementation of multi-tiered tree planting to resemble natural structures of forests and create natural pathways, and these routes are called Nature Ways.
Intricately planted with specific trees and shrubs to facilitate the movement of animals like birds and butterflies between green spaces, Nature Ways connect areas of high biodiversity to urban communities, create immediate habitats, and bring nature closer to Singapore residents. There are currently 49 Nature Ways in Singapore, stretching 170 km and connecting areas of high biodiversity, such as the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. By 2030, NParks aims to increase these pathways to 300 km.
If you haven’t made plans this weekend, why not explore one of the Nature Ways in Singapore? You can visit their website to find out more about the important layers that are incorporated in each Nature Way, and find out where these Nature Ways are before you embark on your adventure.
Singapore is well-known for its abundant green spaces, and one horticultural attraction that continues to be a popular destination for tourists and locals alike is the Botanic Gardens. With decades of history and over 82 hectares of curated flora and fauna, the Gardens remains as the only tropical botanic gardens in the world today to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you would like to lend a hand in helping the Gardens to continue thriving, there are plenty of ways you can volunteer. One way is to sign up as a tour guide and be a part of their weekly free tours for the public — not only will you get a chance to learn more about the plants in the Gardens, you will also get to share this new knowledge with others.
Got a green thumb? Another fun way you can help out is to sign up as a Gardening Volunteer. Volunteers are given the opportunity to maintain an area in the Gardens. From preparing the ground, to sowing seeds, fertilising and composting, and even identifying and labelling plants, there is much you can learn about the plants in the Gardens while gardening and seeing the fruits of your labour.
Upon completing 10 hours of volunteer work, you will also receive a Volunteer Pass that gives you entitlements such as an invitation to an annual Volunteer Tea hosted by the Director of the Gardens and other special events and previews.
To find out more about how you can sign up as a volunteer, you can visit their website here.
Conserving our natural environment takes a collective effort, and we can all participate by learning more about our environment and inspiring others to join in on our efforts. By working together, we can create a greater positive impact and forge a greener future for Singapore.
In celebration of our fifth anniversary #GenecoFiVesta, we will be donating $10,000 to NParks’ registered charity and IPC, Garden City Fund as part of our #SeedTheFuture initiative. This donation will go towards supporting the preservation of threatened plant species and the conservation of our botanical diversity at the Singapore Botanic Gardens Seed Bank. We hope that this initiative will inspire more to lend a hand in protecting our lush green spaces, as we continue to build a sustainable home for all.
Be a part of the action — find out more about the Singapore Botanic Gardens Seed Bank and how you can support them here.
In addition, we are also giving away a $30 eCapitaVoucher and an exclusive Geneco Green Starter Kit to 10 lucky winners over on our Facebook and Instagram pages! All you have to do is answer this: “How many Nature Ways are there in Singapore currently?” and follow the rest of the steps in the post to stand a chance. Contest runs from 21 March to 31 March 2023.
Let’s continue to #PowerTheChange and seed the future for generations to come.
Image Credits: Nylon Coffee Roasters
Source: The Sustainability Project
by Alvin Chong
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