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  Straits Times 19 Oct 07
NParks to create healing garden next
It will be first of 5 thematic ones added to Botanic Gardens
By Shobana Kesava

Channel NewsAsia 18 Oct 07
Singapore Botanic Gardens to get new attractions in 2011

SINGAPORE : Visitors to the Singapore Botanic Gardens can expect many new attractions at the Gardens in four years' time.

Among them is a Healing Garden with hundreds of species of plants.

There will also be a Fragrant Garden that promises to not only look but also smell great.

Visitors can also look out for an Ecowalk which will connect visitors from the MRT Station.

The attractions are expected to open in phases in 2011 and will cost S$30 million.

They are being developed on almost 12 hectares of land around the Botanic Gardens.

According to NParks, the layout of the attractions has been carefully planned to provide new plant displays, while preserving the unique character of the Gardens. - CNA/ms

Straits Times 19 Oct 07
NParks to create healing garden next
It will be first of 5 thematic ones added to Botanic Gardens
By Shobana Kesava

A GARDEN with healing plants will be the next new feature of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

It is the first of five new thematic gardens the National Parks Board (NParks) will spend $30 million on, over the next four years.

Less than three weeks after it launched Asia's first children's garden, NParks announced yesterday it will create another 9.7ha of gardens - equivalent to more than 20 football fields - to bring the Botanic Gardens grounds from the current 54ha to 63.7ha.

The Healing Garden will be ready by the first half of 2010. The 3ha area, conceptualised in the shape of a seated human, will allow visitors to walk among medicinal plants that heal different parts of the body.

Director of the Botanic Gardens, Dr Chin See Chung, by way of example, said if visitors 'walk where the head is, they will see the willow, whose bark produces aspirin'.

This centrepiece, visible from the air, ties in with NParks' aim to encourage recreation and tourism with a focus on education and research.

Besides the Healing Garden, there will be a Fragrant Garden, Terrace Garden, Foliage Valley and Ethnobotany Garden.

The Ethnobotany Garden will have plants that are important in regional cultures. These 'could be the plants that families grow in their gardens that are used for cooking or medicine. For the Malays, this might be lemongrass, for Indians, the neem tree, and for the Chinese, the pomegranate,' Dr Chin said.

A cluster of bungalows dating to the 1930s will be conserved to house horticultural and arboricultural education centres and non-governmental organisations.

The Orchid Society of Southeast Asia and the South-east Asian headquarters of the Botanic Gardens Conservation International will move in soon. The Singapore Environment Council has already set up office there.

When Botanic Gardens MRT station at the north-west tip of the gardens is ready by 2011, the makeover by NParks should be complete.

Already, the gardens see three million visitors a year and more are expected with the station's opening. By then, more than $130 million will have been spent redeveloping them since 1990, noted Dr Chin.

'The gardens have been a part of Singapore since 1859. It is a part of our heritage which everyone can identify with,' he said.

Singapore Botanic Gardens
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