SINGAPORE: The new Pasir Panjang Park, slated to open in stages from 2021, will include features for visitors to learn about the region’s natural and maritime history, the National Parks Board (NParks) said in a statement. press release Saturday 17 October).
The park, which stretches from the West Coast Park to the Labrador Nature Reserve, is part of the Great South Waterfront.
Pasir Panjang, which means long sand in Malay, was once a long sandy beach. The area developed rapidly from the 1970s with land reclamation and construction of the Pasir Panjang terminal.
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When designing the new park, NParks held discussions with around 170 stakeholders, including residents and interest groups in the area, between January 18 and May 31.
The community were proud of Pasir Panjang’s rich history and wanted it featured in the park, NParks said.
“Future visitors will be taken on a path of Pasir Panjang’s memory, through chance encounters with artifacts and programs deliberately organized by the community, for the community,” the agency said.
These would include port items donated by PSA that would be placed in selected locations within the park.
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“Stakeholders also had a strong preference for self-guided walks, preferring to hear about life in the past through the perspectives and stories of other people, rather than just historical facts about the area,” NParks said.
The community will also play an active role in the conservation and programming efforts behind the story of Pasir Panjang.
“The heritage boards and a heritage gallery will feature contributions of old photos from members of the public, allowing the community to tell the story of Pasir Panjang, thus encouraging further contribution and sharing,” NParks said.
MORE NATURAL ELEMENTS
Three-quarters of stakeholders also said that the main feature of the park should focus on natural elements, with less man-made materials.
Park structures such as public toilets will have green roofs to “soften the look” of man-made structures, NParks said.
Reminiscent of the region’s sandy coastline before development, the landscaping will include patches of sand amidst coastal vegetation.
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This would be reintroduced to the exact location of the old beach shoreline along the old concrete railing next to the canal, NParks said.
“The restored coastal vegetation of Pasir Panjang Park not only strengthens the recreational link between the West Coast Park and the South Waterfront, but it will also serve as a buffer for the Labrador Nature Reserve by providing the public with an alternative node to connect with nature, ”he added.
There will also be a natural play garden to encourage free play and sensory discovery in children, NParks said.
The first section of Pasir Panjang Park – from Pasir Panjang MRT to Jalan Pelepah Residential Estate – is slated to open in 2021.