The following article and accompanying comments criticizing Gardens by the Bay is but perhaps another low in our attempts at blaming the Government for just about everything, even that of trying to foster a greener livable city.
For the record, I personally feel that NParks is but one of the few Governmental organisations that have made huge visible improvements to our nation’s physical landscape and benefitted the daily lives of Singaporeans in subtle but substantial ways.
From the planting/pruning of roadside trees, to constructing park connectors and waterways, maintaining nature reserves and even offshore islands like Pulau Ubin, Nparks has done a marvellous job in ensuring that our concrete jungle has a decent amount of breathing space.
And while I have to admit that Gardens by the Bay is not all that great, I’ll have to give it credit and support where it is due.
First and foremost, more than 80% of the 250 acres that is Gardens by the Bay is free to the public, the admission cost of $20 being only applicable for entry to the two conservatories, with $5 for the walk on the OCBC skyway.
To put it simply, it is pretty easy for one to choose not to head into the conservatories and still enjoy a more than considerable amount of the park.
As for the high priced $20 Chicken rice? The only way to solve this problem is perhaps easier done then said…just don’t pay for it.
Stop and smell the roses
When I went to the Gardens by the Bay a couple of weeks ago, I was rather impressed in particular by the Cloud Forest, the sudden rush of rich oxygen greeting one upon stepping into this megastructure marvel.
Yet, while I took almost 90 minutes to make my way around the conservatory, too many people seemed bent of just glancing, taking pictures and not observing the beauty that they were literally encapsulated in. It was interesting to see how the structure recycled water and energy, the knowledge of this would be a good step to understanding how we can create a more sustainable environment.
On this note, I will have to say that the conservatories could have more physical signs telling visitors more about the characteristics of the plants.
Comparing ‘Real Nature’
Many comments laced in the article seemed to argue that Gardens by the Bay is too man-made and not natural enough as compared to Botanic Gardens and Bukit Timah Hill.
Yet if you ask any National Serviceman, or anyone that has studied about the vegetation in a tropical rainforest, they would probably be hard pressed to agree that areas like Botanic Gardens are completely natural and free from man’s intervention.
It’s more thanks to the hard work of the Nparks rangers and officers who ensure that the natural beauty in parks is intertwined together with well construcuted ponds, rest areas and pathways for visitors to walk around freely.
What Nparks has done
I would encourage detractors out there to take the opportunity to visit the Nparks page, to realise exactly how much they have done for Singapore beyond Gardens by the Bay.
This includes taking efforts to firstly educate the public through talks and workshops, as well as interacting really well on their online and social media platforms like Facebook.
Nparks also works on analysing and preserving our unique biodiversity and has conducted lots of community engagement projects to encourage Singaporeans to play their part in making our nation a greener city.
So give Nparks and the people working there credit where its due, and not attack them for an attraction that you have the simple option of not visiting or paying for.