By Ivan Lim
Thanks to the exuberant and spirited students at Raffles Institution (RI), I got the chance to get my hands dirty (and feet wet) as I tagged along for the ABC (Active, Beautiful, Clean) Waters Learning Trail at Kallang River @ Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.
The first of its kind, a naturalised, meandering river has replaced the stretch of Kallang River that used to run in a concrete canal. Designed based on a flood plain concept whereby water flow is confined to a narrow stream in the middle of the river during dry weather, I was able to walk right along the water’s edge, marvelling at the ingenuity behind such a beautiful and expansive green oasis in our highly urbanised landscape. How was this possible?
Our earnest student guides pointed out that unique bioengineering techniques and the use of a combination of natural materials such as vegetation and rocks paved the way for the transformation of the canal into a natural waterway with soft, gradual edges that has been seamlessly integrated with the park.
The thriving flora and fauna that now inhabit the park leave me mesmerised as we explored the lush and pristine park. As the tour draws to a close, I can’t help but feel rejuvenated and inspired by the magnificence of this man-made natural wonder. RI teacher Jasmine Koh sums up the essence of the trail: “It’s as much learning about the trail as it is from the students. Through this, we hope to integrate the different disciplines of geography and science into a holistic learning package that students and teachers alike can benefit from.”
This article is part of PUB’s Exploring our ABC Sites initiative. To watch the writer’s colleague Nicholas journey through Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, click here.
This learning trail is just one of many enriching Water Showcases held in conjunction with the Singapore International Water Week. These activities are organised by the community, for the community to showcase best practices and contribute towards greater stewardship of our island’s precious water resources. Best of all, they are open to the public! To sign up now, click here.