25 September 2010

Rainforest in the City to be bigger and better!

Did you know that there is a real primary rainforest just minutes from Orchard Road? It's at the Botanic Gardens! The 1889 Gardens’ catalogue described it: ‘With one or two exceptions, this is the only piece of original jungle left on the island ... It gives the visitors some idea of the wonderful richness of tropical vegetation.’
This 6 hectare primary rain forest will now be expanded to include a 9.8 hectare Learning Forest to showcase the best of tropical trees. Through thematic walks, visitors will be able to see giant trees, a conservation collection of rare fruit and nut species and a bamboo garden. National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan announced this at the opening of the 'Wealth of the Rain Forest' exhibition at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on Friday morning.

The Learning Forest will also include a new marshland showcasing tropical wetland plant species and aquatic wildlife!

More details in the media articles on wildsingapore news.

Join guided walks!

For a while now, you can already join a guided walk of the rainforest at the Botanic Gardens!

This walk is conducted by the volunteer guides of NPark's Singapore Botanic Gardens and is held every second Saturday of the month at 9am, 10am, 11am. A special Mandarin version of this tour is at 4pm. The next one is on 9 Oct (Sat).

Learn more!

You can also learn more about rainforests at the special indoor "Wealth of the Rainforest Exhibition" 24 Sep - 6 Oct

Rain forests are one of the most critical global life-support systems for all living things. They help maintain water and rain cycles, moderate the climate and maintain ecological balance. They provide humans with food, shelter, cultural and technological materials, and medicines.

"Wealth of the Rain Forest" also reveals interesting facts on how certain rain forest plants have healing properties and how the forests present opportunities for eco-tourism and other forms of recreation. For example, quinine, the anti-malaria medication, was extracted from the bark of the Cinchona tree (Cinchona spp.) found in the forests on the Andes mountains of South America. The Gutta-Percha (Palaquium gutta), a relative of the Chiku fruit tree, was discovered by the colonial British in Singapore during the mid-19th century for use to insulate the new invention of submarine telegraphic communications cable (from 1866) and is still the preferred non-toxic material for dentists performing root-canal fillings.

This educational display will also entertain with its exquisite images of biodiversity in the rain forest - from rain forest giants like the dipterocarps to healing rain forest plants that have been used in traditional and Western medicine. Interactive exhibits will also enhance visitors' experience and appreciation of the forest world.

In celebration of the International Year of Biodiversity, the Singapore Botanic Gardens is proud to present this special exhibition with displays and stories which highlights our precious rain forest and its ecosystems.

Time: 11am-6pm
Venue: Botany Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens

More about the Botanic Gardens Rainforest on wildsingapore.

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