NParks developed and opened The Learning Forest in April 2017 (as a part of the Singapore Botanical Gardens), a century-old ‘lost world’ filled with giant trees and creatures that crawl, glide and flit, according to The Straits Times.
Visitors to Singapore and residents of Singapore who love the outdoors – take note. This wonderland is available for the asking, a secondary rain forest that has been meticulously restored over time, with care and detail, dictated by the original topography, soil and hydrology of the space.
As someone wrote, unless children experience the beauty and richness of our world, how will they realise what is being lost forever through climate change and ignorance ?
The ‘how’ of the creation of the Forest is as interesting as the ‘what’ :
- regeneration with help from the dispersion of seeds from the Botanic Garden’s primary rainforest
- different plants collected from around South-east Asia, and most of the native and mature plant species within the site either retained or transplanted near to their original spots
- restoring the area’s existing water sources with a linked series of five water bodies that connects to Swan Lak
- the recreation of a freshwater forest wetland
- introducing native orchids, many conserved through NParks’ conservation programme (most have disappeared because of deforestation for the cultivation of plantation crops in the 19th century)
- a network of boardwalks and elevated walkways to explore wetland and rainforest habitats
- three different vegetation belts of plants, mimicking the naturally occurring segments found in freshwater wetlands and lowland forests from Singapore to south Johor, as one moves upriver towards the coast (reproduced from the findings of former Gardens’ director EJH Corner, following his exploration of Mandai’s wetland and Johor’s Sedili Rivers in the 1930’s)
As to the ‘what’ of it, details in this linked article. Expect freshwater wetlands and lowland forest, canopy beds, orchid islands and marsh plants, The SPH Walk of Giants, the Lowland Rainforest, Keppel Discovery Wetlands, a bamboo grove aka Bambusetum, and a Wild Fruit Tree Arboretum, boardwalks at canopy level, birds like the stork-billed kingfisher, plants such as the pelican tree with its rainbow-hued trunk and a stunning collection of old and tall trees which are the beginning of a new garden – which will look very different in a 100 years.
Go forth and discover !
This Straits Times article was referenced for this post.