Singapore Botanic Gardens’ new Gallop Extension has opened – at least in part. This expansion of the Tyersall-Gallop Core brings with it a new trail that leads up to the highest point at the Gardens and a tech-enabled arboretum.
However, there is still more to come. A nature-inspired playgarden and galleries housed within black-and-white bungalows will open in 2020. Once fully opened, the Gallop Extension will add another eight hectares to the Gardens.
Here’s a look at the two features at the Gallop Extension which have opened.
Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge
The Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge is a new walking trail at the Gallop Extension. Its design is inspired by the forest habitats of South East Asia’s tropical hills.
Rising up along a natural ridge, the Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge features interesting plants which have adapted to harsh hill environments with poor soil and strong winds.
Ant Plants have modified roots, stems and leaves which are hollow, serving as tunnels for ants to live in.
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Carnivorous Pitcher Plants use their modified leaves to lure prey for food.
The top of the ridge is about 40 metres above sea level and the highest point in Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Also open at the Gallop Extension is the OCBC Arboretum.
The Arboretum, a collection of trees, will house more than 2,000 specimens of over 200 species of dipterocarps.
These giant hardwood trees with winged seeds form the backbone of tropical forests.
It is the first-of-its-kind, high-tech arboretum in Southeast Asia using Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to remotely monitor the trees, their growth and the environmental conditions. Data gathered from the sensors will be enable arborists and ecologists to understand the conditions required for healthy growth of dipterocarp trees.
This high-tech approach to tree research bolsters Singapore Botanic Gardens’ standing as a research, conservation and botanical institution. It also enhances the ability to restore tropical forests in Singapore and the region.
More to Come at the Singapore Botanic Gardens Gallop Extension in 2020
More features will be added to the Gallop Extension at Singapore Botanic Gardens in 2020.
In addition to a HPL Canopy Link bridge connecting the Gallop Extension to the Learning Forest, a new Farrer Gate entrance, 600 metres from Farrer Road MRT station, will be opened.
Families can also look forward to the COMO Adventure Grove Playgarden. This nature-inspired playground which will include structures which resemble parts of trees and fruit. It will provide children with an introduction to nature through play.
Two black-and-white conservation bungalows along Gallop Road, currently being renovated, will play significant roles in the Gallop Extension.
5 Gallop Road, also known as Atbara House, will be home to the Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum. The Centre will have interpretive and interactive displays about the forest ecosystem and conservation efforts.
7 Gallop Road (Inverturret) will be turned into a Botanical Art Gallery showcasing the Garden’s extensive art collection. Artworks in the collection include watercolours, ink drawings and wood block carvings. The displays will also highlight the role which art has played in the scientific documentation of Singapore’s flora and fauna.
Extending the Tyersall-Gallop Core – A New Side to Singapore Botanic Gardens
With the additional features set to open in 2020, it will provide multiple ways to appreciate tropical habitats and the need for forest conservation.
Currently, the Gallop Extension is accessible via an entrance located along Tyersall Avenue. This leads to a visitor centre and small carpark.
To mark the opening of the Gallop Extension, tours will be held on 19, 20, 26 and 27 October 2019 as part of the Festivities at Singapore Botanic Gardens event.