Sep 5, 2017

Tampines Eco Green: Possibly the Most Underrated Park in Singapore

Tampines Eco Green is unlike any other nature park we had visited in Singapore. For starters, it is a sprawling 36.5-hectare ecological park resembling a savannah with marshlands, secondary forests and freshwater ponds.

Not only that, the park was designed with minimal intrusion, leaving most of the land untouched and in its original state. In fact, the park is NOT lit at night - so go before 7pm! - so as to minimize disturbance to its wildlife inhabitants.

But if you are looking for playground structures to keep the kiddos occupied, there are NONE here. What is present in the park is plenty of flora and fauna to keep the little ones fascinated. And the main difference here compared to other nature parks is the footpath is carpeted with Manila Grass rather than concrete or gravel, making it a unique walking experience.

Besides making for a great sensory experience outing, most of the park's original landscape has been retained, with even dead trees transformed into park benches and shelter stops. No wonder the monkies remarked that there was something different about Tampines Eco Green.

So off we went to explore!

The park offers three trails weaving through the forest: Diversity Trail, Forest Trail and Marsh Trail. In total, one loop of the park covers 3km, with a walking time of between 1.5 to 2 hours. The terrain is flat throughout, making it extremely easy for kids.

Courtesy of NParks (Click to enlarge)

Our journey began at the shelter near the main entrance of the park. Stretching 1.2km, the Diversity Trail offers an easy walk with views of numerous flora and fauna.

Here, the dense woods flanked both sides of the trail with tall trees towering as we trekked along the green path.

We stopped by the freshwater pond and I have to say the view was amazing. I never knew we had such a picturesque spot right here in Singapore!

At first sight, the pond did seem to be devoid of life, but as we took a closer look, we were all taken aback by the sheer number of life forms living in and around the pond. Butterflies, dragonflies, tiny fishes, tortoises, pond skaters... the monkies spotted them all.

Oh, and do look out for the many bird hides made of twigs and branches too. A bird hide allows you to camouflage so that you can observe wildlife, especially birds, at close proximity without alarming the creatures with your presence. Considering the large variety of birds in this park – 75 different recorded species (!) – I think this will be extremely useful if you are into bird watching.

We did spot a fair of amount of birds too, with some brightly-coloured ones that I have never even seen before. Luckily, there are ample signs scattered throughout the trail which offered nuggets of information of the different type of species one could see in the park.

The boys needed no signs to identify the Flame of the Forest tree though. They were taught in school that the tree relies on explosive action as a means of seed dispersal and there is simply nothing like seeing Science and Nature up close. In fact, the brothers conducted an impromptu Science lesson for their sister too!

We then headed to Marsh Trail which is the shortest trail at 0.8km.

Here, broad, shallow canals called vegetated swales can be found here. 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.

Rounding up our trail adventure is the 1km Forest Trail where we felt a drop in surrounding temperatures as the trail became shadier.

Trees border the trail with lush canopies stretching ahead, making it the perfect end to our park exploration.

We had no issues with mosquitoes but it doesn't hurt to slap on some insect repellent too.

Should nature calls, rest assured there is a toilet near the entrance of the park (off Diversity Trail). But even if you do not have any urgent need to do so, I strongly advise you to pay it a visit.

Why? That is because the toilet is an eco-toilet, 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. How cool is that???

But don't worry about any foul smells as the eco-toilet is odour-free, thanks to its good ventilation system. Biodegradable cleaning agents are used to keep the toilet clean and hygienic too. The monkies were definitely intrigued!

All of us thoroughly enjoyed the visit to Tampines Eco Green. Initially, I was expecting the usual nature experience found in other parks like the Botanical Gardens. But the park is more than that, with its tall trees, bird hides, and ponds.... all against a rustic greenery backdrop. It is true when they say that beauty grows when nature is left alone without man's interference.

We saw monitor lizards, birds, insects, touched plants, examined flowers and fruits, followed butterflies on their search for nectar, picked up bird feathers from the grass, enjoyed the shade as we trotted along and of course, enjoyed each other's company. One of the most educational outings we had in recent memory, if you ask me!

Personally, I feel Tampines Eco Green is severely underrated. It is perfect place to head to with the kids as it allows them a chance to appreciate the animal and plant biodiversity in their natural setting. Compared to other parks, it is so much less crowded with its terrain being extremely easy for kids to trek.

And should the kids still have energy to expend after that, there is a playground located just directed opposite Tampines Eco Green (across Tampines Ave 9) at Sun Plaza Park.

Useful Information

Tampines Eco Green
Address: Tampines Avenue 9 and Tampines Avenue 12
How to get there:
Alight at Tampines MRT station and walk 20 mins to the park via Sun Plaza Park.
If you drive, the nearest parking is at Block 408, Tampines Ave 9
NOTE: No lights after dark

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Unknown said...

Wow, the Tampines Park is beautiful. I love that it is so untouched. I will be sure to use geolocation software when I go so I don't get lost. And, I'll be sure to be out by 7 PM. Really appreciate your tips!

darren rowse said...

Thanks you for sharing the post at this beautiful Tampines Eco Green nature park.i read your whole blog and i love to have a tour this park is so nice.

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