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Our Work

    Protecting the Environment

    An immersive outdoor experience

    March 2017

    Orchid Islands
    Botanists’ Boardwalk
    Orchid Islands and Botanists’ Boardwalk

    The Keppel Discovery Wetlands was officially opened by Prime Minister of Singapore Mr Lee Hsien Loong on 31 March 2017. The area was established with a $2.08 million commitment from Keppel, which supported the restoration of a freshwater forest wetland ecosystem historically found in the vicinity of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage site.

    The various features of the Keppel Discovery Wetlands are complemented by walking trails and boardwalks that create an immersive outdoor experience for visitors. Highlights include the Orchid Islands, Botanists’ Boardwalk and Pulai Marsh.


    Orchid Islands

    Singapore has some 228 species of native orchids, of which 170 are considered extinct, 50 are critically endangered, three are vulnerable and only five are common. NParks aims to propagate threatened orchid species and reintroduce extinct ones.

    The Orchid Islands showcase a large number of native orchids, many of which have been conserved through NParks’ native orchid conservation programme. The public will be able to admire the forms and colours displayed by these native orchids in their natural habitat.


    Botanists’ Boardwalk

    At the Botanists’ Boardwalk, visitors will be able to learn about the historic discoveries made by the Gardens’ earlier botanists. These botanists made frequent expeditions to the swamps of Borneo, across the mountain ranges of the Malay Peninsula and further afield to gain a better understanding about the ecology of the region. They also recorded and left behind a rich trove of writings about their travels.

    For the first time in the history of the Gardens, these journeys of discovery are brought to life at the Botanists’ Boardwalk, through signs installed along the 50-metre long boardwalk detailing stories of the botanists’ adventures. The landscape around the boardwalk features various plants that have been collected from around the region and named in honour of our botanical pioneers.


    Pulai Marsh

    The Pulai Marsh is the Gardens’ pioneering attempt at recreating a freshwater forest wetland. Historic maps of the area from as far back as the 1860s showed that there was formerly a stream running through the area. Surveys have indicated that the entire area was once a wetland forest habitat. One of the trees catalogued is the Marsh Pulai, a magnificent tree with swollen buttresses that grows in permanently flooded ground, and which has given the area its name.

    The water in the Pulai Marsh supports a rich variety of plants and wildlife and eventually feeds into the Gardens’ Swan Lake.