Things you never knew about living near a park

All abuzz in Sembawang

Canberra Park was upgraded to the tune of $2.2 million and has a variety of swings.

Photo: Frasers Centrepoint Limited

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April 4, 2016

For many Singaporeans, the idea of living near lush and vast greenery might be considered as luxury and can do some real wonders for the body, mind and soul.

The northern part of Singapore is an ideal retreat for those looking to get closer to nature. One such location is Sembawang that has a great abundance of natural greenery, a haven from the bustle of the city.

Exploring the great beyond

Thanks to the 25km Northern Explorer Loop, residents in Sembawang have easy access to 11 parks and nature sites in northern Singapore, such as the Sembawang Park, Yishun Park and the recently completed Woodlands Waterfront.

Families can enjoy a wide variety of activities at these parks together, from fishing to jogging. While young families take part in activities such as scooting, rollerblading, prawning and trampolining, more mature families can enjoy lovely strolls, scenic walks and peaceful dining at many cafes and restaurants that many parks have to offer.

Here are some highlights:

1. Sembawang Park

Parc Life 3 Sembawang Park resized-minSembawang Park. Photo: Wanbao

Do you know the name ‘Sembawang’ is said to have come from the Mesua Ferruginea tree, commonly known as the Sembawang tree? One such tree is still thriving at the Sembawang Park, a place which definitely invites a visit. Linking Canberra Link to Tuah Road via Sembawang Road, this connector will take you past some charming colonial black and white bungalows to Sembawang Park. Besides a jetty that makes for a great fishing spot, the park also has one of the few natural beaches found in Singapore.

Sembawang Park is also home to the iconic battleship playground, with its centrepiece “warship” jungle gym complete with gun turret, smoke stacks, propellers and a rudder. It not only promises endless fun for kids, but also a history lesson on Sembawang’s naval heritage.

2. Yishun Park

Yishun Park-1-size-minA photographer taking photos of a young tree at Yishun Park. Photo: ST

This 14 ha park was developed on an old rubber estate and is still home to a wide range of tropical fruit trees and natural vegetation. Families can enjoy a leisurely stroll around the park while spotting durian, jackfruit, star fruit and coconut trees and learn more about the fruits and plants from information boards installed around the park.

3. Woodlands Waterfront

Woodlands Waterfront-1-resize-minThe jetty at Woodlands Waterfront. Photo: ST

A tranquil 11 ha coastal park boasting a jetty, a multi-generational playground and picnic areas. Visitors can also enjoy an unobstructed and panoramic view of the entire coastal park and the Straits of Johor from high vantage points and rest shelters placed along a scenic trail.

4. ORTO

Orto-1-resize-minA serene lotus pond is one of the attractions at Orto. Photo: ST

The former Bottle Tree Park, a lush sanctuary for nature lovers that is open to the public 24 hours a day. It is a great one-stop place if you’re looking for fun for the whole family, as it offers all-day and night activities such as prawning, fishing, paintball and trampolining – all amid a rustic, charming setting.

From there, visitors can easily get onto the Mandai Park Connector, which will bring them all the way to the Mandai Nature Reserve.

Experts have explained that living near natural spaces like parks can bring about long-term benefits such as improved mental agility and a calmer spirit. Surrounding yourself with nature can also help to relieve your body and mind of unwanted stress, among other positive effects.

What experts say

Research has shown that people who live near a park or greener areas are consistently more satisfied with life and experience less distress overall than people who live in more built-up areas.

girl on swing resize-minPhoto: Frasers Centrepoint Limited

A study by the University of Exeter Medical School found that living near a park not only boosts your mental health, but that the positive effect stays with you even long after you have moved away from the neighbourhood.

Some studies have even found that people have happier relationships and perform better in tests when they live in tree-filled neighbourhoods, while others have showed that health levels could be predicted by the amount of green space within a one-mile radius, the UK’s Telegraph newspaper reported.

When families live near a park, the availability of wide open spaces would encourage their children to run outside and play amongst nature more often, rather than stay cooped up indoors staring at screens.

The parents, too, would be encouraged to join in the fun and frolic along with the young ones if such abundant greenery is welcoming them outside. The result is more bonding time among the family, while enjoying fresh air and physical activity, all of which have been proven to be important factors in maintaining good health – for both brain and body.

Canberra Park: Nature, sport and relaxation at your doorstep

Canberra Park 600-minCanberra Park in Sembawang. Photo: Frasers Centrepoint Limited

Canberra Park, a haven that promises endless fun for the whole family, is like a gateway to the lush natural heritage of Sembawang. The Canberra-Sembawang Park Connector is a 1.6km park connector that links the park to the coastal Sembawang Park. It also forms part of the Northern- Explorer Loop, which links cyclists with other parks around Singapore, including Yishun Town Park, Upper Seletar Reservoir and even the Woodlands Waterfront Promenade, where the northern shore of Singapore opens out into the Straits of Johor.

In 2014, Canberra Park received a $2.2 million facelift. By 2015, the park has transformed into a recreational and community space for people to come together.

A key feature of the Canberra Park is a big dinosaur skeleton fronting the playground, guaranteed to strike a sense of wonder among kids and those young at heart.

Residents can enjoy a fantastic array of multi-sensory play structures, including play-panels with raised textures, a three-slide structure, a colourful obstacle course and third-generation fitness stations. The playground boasts the largest swing system in Singapore and also feature swings that persons with disabilities will be able to use.

While kids get to enjoy the facilities, their parents are certainly not left out of the fun.

The park also includes fitness corners and miles of walking, cycling and jogging tracks; a great and healthy way for families to bond.

“The new park will become an important landmark for Canberra and I hope that it will bring more families, friends and neighbours closer,” says MP for Nee Soon GRC Lim Wee Kiak.

Bask in the beauty of nature – while you can

Singapore is known as a garden city. However, it is also fast becoming a concrete jungle and there are only a handful of homes located near parks.

Unobstructed views of greenery in the privacy of your own home are rare to come by these days.

Adding to this valuable mix is an upcoming development – Parc Life EC, which is separated by a side gate linking residents to Canberra Park. Residents of this development will be able to reap the endless benefits of nature, resulting in greater physical, social, emotional and even intellectual well-being for the entire family.

They will have access to various amenities within the development itself such as the 50m infinity pool, kids splash, a play lawn and eight spas at your leisure! The convenience and accessibility to a myriad of activities makes living at Parc Life a complete enjoyment.

Parc Life EC, located at Sembawang Crescent, is situated right at the door step of Canberra Park, which is in turn a gateway leading to other parks. At Parc Life, everyone deserves two parks. E-application opens from 16th – 24th April 2016. For more information, please visit www.parclife.sg or call 6481 0070. Brought to you by Frasers Centrepoint Limited.