16 projects get NParks certification for landscaping efforts to green Singapore

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SINGAPORE – A nursery is where young plants are grown before they are sold or transported elsewhere, and one nursery in Singapore is among 16 projects recognised by the National Parks Board (NParks) for their landscaping efforts.

Instead of just rows of saplings in pots, Tropical Environment’s 1.85ha nursery at 60 Jalan Lekar in Sungei Tengah is laid out like a garden, with a cottage that has a wine cellar and where private events can be held. The cottage is partially cooled with rainwater channelled around and under the building. 

Research and development are carried out on the site to study how plants grow in certain positions in built environments. Members of the public can also learn about horticulture and nursery technologies in workshops.

The nursery lost about two-thirds of its area under a government land reallocation exercise in 2019, forcing Tropical Environment to maximise the reduced space, said Mr Soh Liang Ying, deputy director of Tropic Group, which owns the 20-year-old nursery. The group also has companies involved in areas such as landscaping, horticulture and event management.

With the nursery’s area much reduced, several features – such as the drainage and irrigation network, plant holding bays and rainwater catchment areas – were reconfigured and moved during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Said Mr Soh: “We hope to continue using more innovative ways to hold our plants and products, displaying them in ways that are both aesthetically interesting and functional.”

For Tropic Environment’s efforts, its nursery has received certification under NParks’ Landscape Excellence Assessment Framework (Leaf).

Leaf was launched in 2013 to recognise projects that restore nature in Singapore’s urban landscape and is part of the Republic’s City in Nature vision – a key pillar of Singapore Green Plan 2030, a national movement for sustainable development.

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