A play area for children, a permanent collection of botanical art and ridge-top hiking trail were among the details about the new Singapore Botanic Gardens Gallop Extension unveiled by the National Parks Board in a media release issued today.
First announced in November 2016, the 8-hectare extension along Gallop Road will bring the area of the Singapore Botanic Gardens to 82 hectares. It will be connected to the Learning Forest, at the existing Bambusetum zone, by a 200-metre-long bridge that spans over Tyersall Avenue. The new core will also be accessible from Farrer Road MRT.
The new Singapore Botanic Gardens Gallop Extension aims to allow visitors to learn about Singapore’s native forest ecology and the importance of conservation – all in one location.
Features at the Singapore Botanic Gardens Gallop Extension
One of the features at the Gallop extension will be the HPL Canopy Link. This will allow visitors to view the trees up close.
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Another feature is the Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge. This restored ridge-top habitat will offer a view of the lower grounds and include a ridge-top hiking trail.
The OCBC Arboretum at the Gallop extension will hold a collection of dipterocarps, a family of rainforest trees named after its two-winged fruit.
Discovery Centre and Art Gallery
There will also be a Forest Discovery Centre, located at the conserved colonial House No. 5, which is also known as ‘Atbara House’. This Centre will act as an interpretive hub on the conservation of tropical forest habitats and highlight the Gardens’ contributions to forest conservation in Singapore and around the region.
House No. 7, another conserved colonial house, will be home to the Garden’s Botanical Art Gallery. At the Gallery, visitors will be able to view a collection of botanical art and illustrations drawn from the Gardens’ collection of over 2,000 art pieces, some of which date back to 1890. House No. 7 is also known as ‘Inverturret’.
Both houses were designed by R.A.J Bidwell, the architect who designed Raffles Hotel and Goodwood Park Hotel about 100 years ago.
Play Area at the Gallop Extension at Singapore Botanic Gardens
Children can look forward to a new play area at the Gallop Extension, the COMO Adventure Grove. Drawing inspiration from nature, the COMO Adventure Grove aims to introduce children to nature through play. Among the play structures which will be found at the new play area include structures that resemble aerial roots that kids can swing from and the bumpy “skin” of a giant cempedak for them to climb over.
Expected Gallop Extension Opening Date
According to the NParks media release, the new Gallop extension at the Singapore Botanic Gardens is expected to open in “late 2019”.