Fill Me In
Minister for National Development Desmond Lee announced that there would be 1,000 more allotment garden plots available islandwide by 2021. The announcement was made in his opening remarks of the Community Gardens Festival 2020.
New gardening plots available
Gardening enthusiasts and more families now have the opportunity to nurture their miniature gardens, as the National Parks Board (NParks) is increasing the allotment garden plots to 2,000 over the next year.
One plot is roughly the size of a queen-sized bed, and the fields will be spread across 18 parks.
Aims to increase interest in community gardening
The community garden festival is part of NParks’s edible horticulture master plan, which was launched in 2017. The master plan aims to increase knowledge and interest in community gardening by providing support to the public through means such as practical and material resources. NParks has been actively encouraging gardening among communities, by providing seeds and how-to educational videos to introduce gardening to the public.
Under this master plan, NParks seeks to add more spaces for gardening, increase training opportunities and outreach programmes.
Where the plots will be
The plots are located in parks in Aljunied, Punggol, West Coast, and Yishun. There will be 26, 100, 80, and 30 plots available in the respective parks, with the fields now open via online application. The application will open for two weeks from 25 October to 8 November, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Applying for plots
The plots available will be allocated through computerised balloting. Members of the public are encouraged to apply for the gardening plots nearest to their residence. Applicants will be informed of the outcome within three months from the closing date, which is 8 November.
People interested in applying for the plots can do so here.
1,000 plots islandwide available by 2021
The number of allotment garden plots by 2021 will be doubled, following the addition of 1000 new plots. The 1,000 new plots will be located at 18 parks and gardens islandwide. The parks and gardens are Aljunied Park, Bedok Reservoir Park, Bedok Town Park, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Bukit Gombak Park, Choa Chu Kang Park, Clementi Woods Park, East Coast Park, Jurong Central Park, Kallang Riverside Park, Lower Seletar Reservoir Park, One North Park, Punggol Park, Punggol Waterway Park, Sengkang Riverside Park, Tiong Bahru Park, West Coast Park, and Yishun Neighbourhood Park.
The total number of allotment garden plots will be over 2,000 plots after the implementation of the new ones.
Free seeds and virtual classes
If you’re interested in nurturing your green thumb, NParks will also be distributing around 60,000 seeds to the public. Seeds for growing Kangkong and Chinese Spinach are included, and the organisation is also holding free online masterclasses on how to grow the more difficult types of plants, like capsicums and tomatoes.
The classes are available on the NParks Youtube channel for those interested.
Recognising community groups’ gardening efforts
Community In Bloom recognises community groups’ gardening efforts and rewards the winners with an achievement band of bronze, silver, gold or platinum. The winners were announced at the Community Gardens Festival.
Gardens that have achieved platinum awards for three consecutive years were pushed up to the diamond band, which has been accorded to 17 gardens this year.
NParks said that this was the highest number of diamond awards given out in a year. The award-winners noted that the gardens promoted a community-building spirit among those who participate in gardening. Minister for National Development Desmond Lee also highlighted the benefits gardening could have on social well being, especially during a pandemic.
Gardening “a meaningful activity”
Through the community gardening programmes, Mrs Rina Lai, 49, said that she was able to meet other people and form a sense of belonging in her estate. She is part of the Toh Yi’s resident’s network and is a diamond award winner.
“This is a meaningful activity that can strengthen bonds between friends, families, and society. It can bring us hope and cheer during challenging times,” he said.