Fill Me In
The new Pasir Panjang Park will feature natural elements with maritime history infused in its design. Located at the West Coast Park to Labrador Nature Reserve, the park is part of the Greater Southern Waterfront. The park is slated to open in phases from 2021 onwards.
Pasir Panjang means “long sand” in Malay and the area used to be a long stretch of sandy beach. The 1970s saw the area’s rapid development due to land reclamation and the building of Pasir Panjang Terminal.
Stakeholders wanted to implement and enhance the natural features of the park with less human-made materials. NParks involved roughly 170 stakeholders in this decision which took place during discussions held between Jan 18 and May 31. The area’s residents and interest groups had a say, and the community took pride in Pasir Panjang’s rich history and wished for it to reflect in the park.
Park fulled by history
“Future visitors will be brought down a Pasir Panjang memory lane, through incidental encounters with purposefully curated artefacts and programmes by the community, for the community,” said National Parks Board (NParks). Port items donated by PSA will also be placed in selected locations at the park, creating photo opportunities for visitors.
One of the main highlights of the park is its rich history, showcased by a memory lane walk, where visitors can check curated artefacts and programmes, including stories from the past.
“Because of your feedback, ideas and active participation, our upcoming Pasir Panjang Park will focus on the natural and cultural history of the area, with more natural elements included in the park’s main features. The site where the park is located was formerly a beach, and later became home to the former Pasir Panjang Power Station and container terminals,” Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said in a Facebook post.
“The stakeholders also had a strong preference for self-guided walks, preferring to hear about life in the past through other people’s perspectives and stories, rather than just historical facts about the area,” said NParks.
Apart from a memory lane walk, heritage boards and a heritage gallery will be placed in the park to star old photos contributed by members of the public.
Natural elements featured
Majority of the stakeholders wanted the park to retain a more natural feel, and to utilise natural elements instead of human-made materials. Infrastructure in the park will follow this ideal, beginning with the toilets.
The toilets in the park will feature green roofs for a more natural look, and plots of sand will be placed between coastal vegetation, which pays homage to Pasir Panjang’s history as a beach. The restored coastal vegetation has another purpose — to act as a natural buffer for Labrador Nature Reserve, protecting the native biodiversity there.
Sandpit to build sandcastles
Another nod to the area’s history, the old beach coastline will be turned into a sandpit for visitors to build sandcastles. For families and children, nature playgrounds will be made to encourage play and sensory discovery among the young.
“The restored coastal vegetation at Pasir Panjang Park not only strengthens the recreational link between West Coast Park and the southern waterfront, it will also serve as a buffer for Labrador Nature Reserve by providing the public with an alternative node to connect with nature,” it added.
There will also be a nature playgarden to encourage free play and sensory discovery among children, NParks said.
NParks will work toward further community engagement by kickstarting various activities for stakeholders to participate. The community will play an active role in the curation and development of the park’s drive for Pasir Panjang’s history to come to light.
“Heritage boards and a heritage gallery will feature contributions of old photos by members of the public, enabling the community to tell the story of Pasir Panjang, thereby encouraging further contribution and sharing,” NParks said.
Activities include conducting plant propagation sessions, where NParks will place the tree saplings nurtured by residents in the park. The community and residents can also further contribute by providing stories and photos of Pasir Panjang as well. Those interested in contributing to telling Pasir Panjang’s story can do so here.
The park is set to complete in phases, with the first section stretching from Pasir Panjang MRT station to Jalan Pelepah residential estate. That area of the park will open in 2021.