Tucked away in the Tampines heartland is Tampines Eco Green, a 36.5-hectare ecological park that resembles a savannah with marshlands, secondary forests and freshwater ponds. The green sanctuary is home to over 75 species of birds, 20 species of dragonflies, 35 species of butterflies and 32 species of spiders. To minimise disturbance to the sensitive wildlife in the park, the area is not lit at night.
This ecologically conscious park includes features like an eco-toilet, vegetated swales, bird hides and green roofs on all the shelters. Even the park furniture was made using recycled materials and environmentally friendly products. It’s also a great place for the kids to learn about plants and nature.
The park offers three trails, namely Diversity Trail, Forest Trail and Marsh Trail, that weave through the secondary forests. Along those trails, nature lovers and wildlife photographers encounter nature at close proximity inside bird hides while visitors walk or exercise on the green, easy terrain.
Walk along the shady trails where trees border the trail and lush canopies stretch ahead. Several species of butterflies like the Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya wallacei) and Common Grass Yellow (Eurema hecabe contubernalis) can be spotted.
Take a short walk down the unique, soft footpath carpeted with Manila Grass (Zoysia matrella) and you find a freshwater pond. Take a close look, you will be amazed by the sheer number of life forms living in and around the pond. We spotted some monitor lizards and a family of water hens while we were there, the kids enjoyed watching the animals in action.
Broad, shallow canals called swales can be found around the park. These natural drains help to channel excess surface runoff away from the ground. The sides of the swale are gently sloped and filled with plants and small stones. The gentle slope and plants slow down the speed of the flowing water. This helps reduce soil erosion. They also serve as a natural form of filter before the rainwater reaches the water catchment ponds.
The eco-toilet is the first of its kind in Singapore’s public parks. It is a waterless, chemical-free system that converts human waste using bacteria and wood shavings into compost. Do not worry, this eco-toilet is odour-free as it has a good ventilation system. Biodegradable cleaning agents are used to keep the toilet clean and hygienic too. Apart from being able to conserve water and convert waste into fertiliser, this water-sensitive urban design is also cheaper to build as compared to a conventional toilet.
Sources: park information from NParks and several photos contributed by Veron.