22-28 Mar: Highlights of the week ahead

For kids and the family

Walks in wild places

Special event

For Nature Society (Singapore) members only

Early next week

Registration now open


Announcement
: closing date extended to 28 Mar: Singapore BioDiverCity a photo competition by NParks to showcase our wildlife.


Singapore news highlights
Some interesting nature blog posts

Video clip of the week is of our WILD dolphins! Seen at our Southern Islands and shared by Mei Lin on her blog. Yes, we have wild dolphins and dolphins should be wild. To get updates on sightings of Singapore's wildlife, see the Celebrating Singapore's Biodiversity facebook page or blog.

29 Mar (Mon): Chek Jawa Intertidal Walk with Cicada Tree Eco Place

On days when the tide recedes to 0.5m and below for at least two hours, the intertidal flats are revealed. The fascinating animals that can be seen close up include sea stars, sea cucumbers, sand dollars, octopuses, anemones, corals, crabs and many more. Besides these, the beauty of Chek Jawa is that there are six different ecosystems in that small area. Come and discover and learn more about the diverse array of animals that inhabit these unique habitats with Uncle Joe and National Parks Board guides.

(We have booked this limited guided tour conducted by National Parks Board and there will be extra charges for this walk.)

Trails: Wooden boardwalk. Earth paths, some parts with gentle slopes. Sandbar. Footwear that cover the entire feet are recommended.

Advance registration & payment is required. Email Celine Low at contact@cicadatree.org.sg

Time: 3-6 pm
Cost: $25 per person (adult or child), minimum 6 years of age, excluding the bumboat ride and mini-bus ride to Chek Jawa. The bumboat ride is $2.50 per person one way. The mini-bus ride is $4 return per person to and from the main village. Minimum 15 pax for walk to go ahead.
Website: http://www.cicadatree.org.sg

28 Mar (Sun): Butterfly Walk at HortPark

for Nature Society (Singapore) members only

This walk is led by Gan Cheong Weei. Renowned for being a one-stop gardening and plants hub, the 23-hectare HortPark in Southwest Singapore is also a park connector joining Telok Blangah Hill Park to Kent Ridge Park. We will be walking through the well-manicured compound to search for frolicking butterflies like the Plain Tiger, Blue Glassy Tiger, Leopard and Painted Jezebel.

Time: 9.30am. Meet at the Information Counter at HortPark.
Website: http://www.nss.org.sg/
Contact: email contact@nss.org.sg or call 6741 2036.

28 Mar (Sun): Birdwatching at Bukit Batok Nature Park

for Nature Society (Singapore) members only

This session is led by Yong Ding Li. Situated in a densely populated corner of Singapore, Bukit Batok Nature Park is indeed a green gem. This patch of woods is no bigger than the Botanical Gardens, yet supports a surprising variety of birds including locally threatened ones like the Violet Cuckoo and the Changeable Hawk- Eagle. It is also one of the best places in Southeast Asia to see the highly threatened Straw-headed Bulbul.

Time: 7.30am. Meet at the main entrance of the Park along Bukit Batok East Ave 2.
Website: http://www.nss.org.sg/
Contact: email contact@nss.org.sg or call 6741 2036.

28 Mar (Sun): Paint Along with Pui San at Sungei Buloh

Free art-and-nature appreciation at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

Tham Pui San, a volunteer of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, is an avid artist who expresses his passion for nature through his art work.

Pui San welcomes artists of all ages or anyone who wants to learn. His objective is to encourage creativity while enjoying nature at the same time. Bring along your favourite drawing or painting supplies and enjoy learning different drawing techniques at Sungei Buloh.

More in the art in the wetlands blog.

Time: 8.30-11.30am, meet at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve ticketing counter (Visitor Centre).
Venue: Shelter 2 & 3 (Mangrove Boardwalk).
Admission charges: While the art session is free, usual admission charges to Reserve apply. $1 per adult, 50cents per child/student/senior citizen.
Website: http://artinwetlands.wordpress.com/
Contact: Tham Pui Sam at thampuisan@hotmail.com or the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve at info@sbwr.org.sg or call 6794 1401

28 Mar (Sun): Free guided tour of the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden

The Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is a specialized garden dedicated to children. The garden stimulates a sense of wonder for the plant world and provide happy memories for our child visitors. Through play and exploration, children learn about the importance of plants and conservation. This is the first garden of its kind in Asia.

Come and join our free one-hour guided tours of the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden conducted by trained Student Volunteer Guides from NUS High School.

Suitable for families & children in K1 - P6 levels.

Maximum 15 participants per group. To register, approach the Information Counter located at the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden at least 15 minutes before the tour starts.

The tour will be held every Saturday and Sunday from 6 March to 2 May with additional sessions on 2 April 2010, Good Friday.

Times: 10am, 11am, 2pm, 30pm
Venue: Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, Bukit Timah Core of the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Website and contact: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/ or call 6471 9961 / 6465 0196 or nparks_sbg_edu@nparks.gov.sg.

28 Mar (Sun): Mangrove walk at Sungei Buloh

Free guided nature walk along the Mangrove boardwalk under shady mangrove trees. Spot mudskippers, crabs and other marine life, learn about our mangroves, enjoy views of the Johor straits.

Suitable for young children.

Registration is not required for small walk-in groups. But each walk is limited to 15 persons per guide and is on a first-come -first-served basis. The walks are weather permitting and may merge with other activities at the Reserve. Those coming with large groups are advised to pre-register.

More about the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the wildsingapore website and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve website. This walk is conducted by the volunteer guides of NParks' Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and is held every Sunday morning, subject to availability of guides.

Time: 9.30 am (subject to availability of guides) for walk in guests, register at the Visitor Centre.
Tour duration: One to one-and-a-half hours. Suitable for young children.
Entry charges: While the walk is free, admission fees to the Reserve apply: $1 per adult, 50cents per child/student/senior citizen.
Website: http://www.sbwr.org.sg/
Contact: info@sbwr.org.sg or call 6794 1401

27 Mar (Sat): Birdwatching at Semakau Landfill

for Nature Society (Singapore) members only

A good time to visit Pulau Semakau for resident birds and migrant surprises. Resident attractions include the Great-billed Heron, Pacific Reef Egret and Malaysian Plover. There is also the possibility of seeing rare migrants like the Chinese Egret and Ashy Drongo. Return to mainland by 2pm. Free parking at Carpark 2 off West Coast Highway.

Non-refundable $28 fee for boat and administration. Send your cheque to the NSS office by 20 January with the All Purpose Form. Number of persons for this trip: 11, 22 or 33. Book your place with Rickword at rickword@singnet.com.sg. IC or Passport mandatory for boarding. Strictly for members only on a first come first served basis.

Children under 12 not allowed (NEA regulation).

Time: 7.30am.
Meet at West Coast Pier near the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club.

Website: http://www.nss.org.sg/
Contact: email contact@nss.org.sg or call 6741 2036.

27 Mar (Sat): Horseshoe Crab Rescue & Research

for Nature Society (Singapore) members only

Join us for this monthly mission to rescue and study the Mangrove Horseshoe Crab (HSC). We have also started an ongoing HSC Training & Accreditation Programme for anyone keen to be a qualified HSC R&Rer. We recommend that you bring a cap, shoes/booties, sun block, repellent, cutter (for HSC rescue) and camera. Washing facilities available.

Pre-registeration required. Register with Dr Cartwright-Taylor at cartwrighttaylor@gmail.com, stating your name, if you are a NSS member or not, affiliations (eg. school/company), experience (if any) and contact details.

Time: 2.30pm, meet at the extension of Kranji Road at the junction with Kranji Loop. Take bus 925 from Kranji MRT station and alight at the Chinese temple along Kranji Loop, cross the road and look for the nameless track that starts beside Leong Soon Pte Ltd (251 Kranji Road).
Website:
http://www.nss.org.sg/
Contact: email contact@nss.org.sg or call 6741 2036.

27 Mar (Sat): Free Chek Jawa boardwalk tour with the Naked Hermit Crabs

photo by Andy DineshThe Naked Hermit Crabs introduce you to Chek Jawa without getting your feet wet. Even though we are not going on to the shore, there is still much to see and enjoy. There are monitor lizards, fiddler crabs, spiders, rare plants, wild boars, mudskippers and lots of fruit trees. If we are lucky, we might even spot the Oriental Pied Hornbill, White-bellied Sea Eagle and the giant Atlas Moth.

Not more than five persons in a group, pre-register at nakedhermitcrabs@gmail.com

More details on the Adventures with the Naked Hermit Crabs blog.

Time: 9.30am meet at the Chek Jawa Info Kiosk
Duration: Two hours
Cost: no charge for now, but donations accepted.
Website: http://nakedhermitcrabs.blogspot.com/
Contact: nakedhermitcrabs@gmail.com

27 Mar (Sat): Earth Hour 2010

Come down to the Esplanade Park to celebrate Earth Hour. For one hour, 8.30 to 9.30pm, Singapore will join thousands of cities across the world in switching off non-essential lighting, sending a powerful global message that it is possible to take action against climate change.
Watch as the Central Business District and landmarks such as the Merlion, the Esplanade Theatre and the Singapore Flyer switch their lights off, enveloping the skyline in complete darkness.

Sit back and let us entertain you with a free green concert, fuelled by Biofuel recycled from waste cooking oil. Don't forget your picnic basket and beeswax candles!

Pledge your support on the Earth Hour Singapore webpage.

Time: 7-10pm
Venue: Esplanade Park (opposite the Padang)
Website:
main website: http://www.earthhour.org
Singapore site:
http://earthhour.wwf.sg/
Contact: Earth Hour team (ask for Janell or Thu), WWF Singapore Tel: 6323 0100

27 Mar (Sat): Free guided tour of the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden

The Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is a specialized garden dedicated to children. The garden stimulates a sense of wonder for the plant world and provide happy memories for our child visitors. Through play and exploration, children learn about the importance of plants and conservation. This is the first garden of its kind in Asia.

Come and join our free one-hour guided tours of the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden conducted by trained Student Volunteer Guides from NUS High School.

Suitable for families & children in K1 - P6 levels.

Maximum 15 participants per group. To register, approach the Information Counter located at the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden at least 15 minutes before the tour starts.

The tour will be held every Saturday and Sunday from 6 March to 2 May with additional sessions on 2 April 2010, Good Friday.

Times: 10am, 11am, 2pm, 30pm
Venue: Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, Bukit Timah Core of the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Website and contact: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/ or call 6471 9961 / 6465 0196 or nparks_sbg_edu@nparks.gov.sg.

27 Mar (Sat): HortPark Butterfly Garden guided tour

HortPark's latest attraction - Butterfly Garden - is an experimental project that supports efforts for a Butterfly Species Recovery Programme. It aims to breed various butterfly species, including locally extince species using suitable nectar and host plants in the enclosure.

Get up close and personal with the flying jewels, and learn their different stages of metamorphosis from egg to caterpillar into butterfly. Observe how pupae emerge into adult butterflies before taking their maiden flight within HortPark's Butterfly Garden.

This walk is held every last Saturday of the month

Time: 10am, please gather at the Butterfly Garden for the tour
Website: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/
Contact: 6471 5601

27 Mar (Sat): Heritage and nature guided walk at Fort Canning Park

Revisiting History, Embracing Nature - Heritage on The Hill

Once the seat of Malay royalty in the 14th century, it was home to colonial governors and turned into a fort in the 19th century. In modern times, it was used as a military base during the Second World War. Today, a display of ancient relics dating back to the 14th century as well as the Fort Gate, remnant of the fortress built in the 1860s, are reminders of Singapore’s rich past.

You may also opt for a tour on The Fort Canning Spice Trail only. This trail was part of the tract of Singapore's first botanical and experimental garden and you will be introduced to the importance of spice back then and its uses in our daily life. Your exploration on the fascinating world of spices begins in the Spice Garden of Fort Canning Park.

Whether it is botanical or historical, learning about our history is just a walk in the park.

Walk is moderately easy but will involve walking up slopes and steps so do come dressed comfortably.

Time: 4-5.30pm
Venue: Meet at courtyard opposite NParks Visitor Centre, Fort Canning Centre
Website: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/
Contact: 63321200 or 63321302 or email surinam_sumsudin@nparks.gov.sg

27 Mar (Sat): Evolution Garden guided walk

A free guided walk of this unique garden in the Botanic Gardens, that tells the story of how our plants came to be. An easy stroll on paved paths among strange plants.

Suitable for kids.

This walk is held every fourth Saturday of the month. Please register 15 minutes before the tour. Registration is on a first-come-first-served basis at the Visitor Centre.

Time: 9am (English tour) and 4pm (Mandarin tour)
Venue: Register at Visitor Centre before the tour starts.
Contact: Visitor Services 6471 7361

27 Mar (Sat): Mangrove walk at Sungei Buloh

Free guided nature walk along the Mangrove boardwalk under shady mangrove trees. Spot mudskippers, crabs and other marine life, learn about our mangroves, enjoy views of the Johor straits.

Suitable for young children.

Registration is not required for small walk-in groups. But each walk is limited to 15 persons per guide and is on a first-come -first-served basis. The walks are weather permitting and may merge with other activities at the Reserve. Those coming with large groups are advised to pre-register.

Marine Fish guided walk at 3.30pm.

More about the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the wildsingapore website and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve website. This walk is conducted by the volunteer guides of NParks' Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and is held every Saturday.

Time: 9.30am for walk in guests, register at the Visitor Centre.
Tour duration: One to one-and-a-half hours. Suitable for young children.
Entry charges: While the walk is free, admission fees to the Reserve apply: $1 per adult, 50cents per child/student/senior citizen.
Website: http://www.sbwr.org.sg/
Contact:
info@sbwr.org.sg or call 6794 1401

25 Mar (Thu): Free screening of "Home"

In the lead up to Earth Hour, Green Drinks, with the kind support of Young NTUC, are hosting a free movie screening of the classic documentary HOME by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

Let us be reminded of the beauty that exists on and around our one and only planet. Yann Arthus-Bertrand takes us on a journey to 54 countries to highlight state of our planet and the challenges humanity faces.


More details on facebook and the Home website.

Time: 7.30-11pm
Venue: NTUC Centre, 1, Marina Boulevard, One Marina Boulevard
Website: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=362886523786

24 Mar (Wed): Free screening of "The Age of Stupid"

In conjuction with Earth Hour 2010, this free screening is organized by The British High Commission in partnership with WWF.

From the producer of the Oscar-winning "One Day in September" comes an ambitious drama-documentary-animation hybrid about the consequences of not acting now to halt climate change.

"The Age of Stupid" stars Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite as an old man living in the devastated world of 2055. Watching 'archive' footage from 2008, he asks "why didn't we stop climate change while we had the chance?"

The screening will be followed by a discussion on measures to combat climate change.

To book your seat, call 6323 0100 (ask for Janell or Thu).

Time: 6pm
Venue: Sinema Old School, 11B Mount Sophia, #B1-1.
Cost: Free but pre-registration is required.
Website:
http://earthhour.wwf.sg/events.php

23 Mar (Tue): MAD lesson on Mammals with Cicada Tree Eco Place

Do mammals still live in Singapore’s wild habitats or do they only exist at our zoo? Join us to find out! You will learn some fascinating facts about mammals--where they live, what they eat and how they protect themselves from predators. This MAD lesson will also include information about how you can be part of the solution to protect our environment and wild habitats.

For kid between the ages of 5 and 10.
Please sign up early as it's limited to 20 kids per class.
For enquiries and registration, please contact Celine Low at contact@cicadatree.org.sg

Time: 2.30-4.30pm
Venue: Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden.
Cost: $15 per child which includes a lovely badge.
Website:
http://www.cicadatree.org.sg/

15-21 Mar: Highlights of the week ahead

For kids and the family - lots of fun activities for the school holidays!

Walks in wild places

Other events

Talks this week

For Nature Society (Singapore) members only

Registration now open

Singapore news highlights

Some interesting nature blog posts

Photo of the week is this gorgeous cuttlefish taken on our wild reefs at Pulau Hantu by Debby of the Hantu Bloggers. Are you a diver? What do you think about diving in Singapore? - do the survey on divers' perceptions conducted by Zeehan Jaafar and Neo Mei Lin.

cuttlefish 6, originally uploaded by Debby Ng, Hantu Blogger.

21 Mar (Sun): Mangrove walk at Sungei Buloh

Free guided nature walk along the Mangrove boardwalk under shady mangrove trees. Spot mudskippers, crabs and other marine life, learn about our mangroves, enjoy views of the Johor straits.

Suitable for young children.

With a special Mandarin tour 9.45am to 11.15am.

Registration is not required for small walk-in groups. But each walk is limited to 15 persons per guide and is on a first-come -first-served basis. The walks are weather permitting and may merge with other activities at the Reserve. Those coming with large groups are advised to pre-register.

More about the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the wildsingapore website and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve website. This walk is conducted by the volunteer guides of NParks' Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and is held every Sunday morning, subject to availability of guides.

Time: 9.30 am (subject to availability of guides) for walk in guests, register at the Visitor Centre.
Tour duration: One to one-and-a-half hours. Suitable for young children.
Entry charges: While the walk is free, admission fees to the Reserve apply: $1 per adult, 50cents per child/student/senior citizen.
Website: http://www.sbwr.org.sg/
Contact: info@sbwr.org.sg or call 6794 1401

21 Mar (Sun): Night workshop for kids - Fabulous Frogs & Terrific Toads!

Find out how you can make a positive difference to frogs and toads and their habitats. Learn about the diversity of frogs and toads in Singapore, their life cycle, where they live, what they eat, what may eat them, and the threats they face daily.

Suitable for children above 5 years old.

Part of "Connecting With Nature Week", this is a collaboration between NParks and Cicada Tree Eco-Place.

Time: 5.30-8pm
Venue: HortPark, Hands-On-House
Cost: $20 per child
Website and contact: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/

21 Mar (Sun): HortPark Garden Tour for kids

Part of Connecting With Nature Week, take a leisurely stroll around HortPark, Singapore’s one and only one-stop gardening hub. Learn all about plants and gardening as we take you through the various Theme Gardens and Display Plots.

Suitable for children above 5 years old.

Time: 9-10am
Venue: HortPark Visitor Services Counter
Cost: $4 per person
Website: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/
Contact: 6471 5601

21 Mar (Sun): Free guided tour of the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden

The Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is a specialized garden dedicated to children. The garden stimulates a sense of wonder for the plant world and provide happy memories for our child visitors. Through play and exploration, children learn about the importance of plants and conservation. This is the first garden of its kind in Asia.

Come and join our free one-hour guided tours of the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden conducted by trained Student Volunteer Guides from NUS High School.

Suitable for families & children in K1 - P6 levels.

Maximum 15 participants per group. To register, approach the Information Counter located at the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden at least 15 minutes before the tour starts.

The tour will be held every Saturday and Sunday from 6 March to 2 May with additional sessions on 2 April 2010, Good Friday.

Times: 10am, 11am, 2pm, 30pm
Venue: Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, Bukit Timah Core of the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Website and contact: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/ or call 6471 9961 / 6465 0196 or nparks_sbg_edu@nparks.gov.sg.

20 Mar (Sat): Walk at Alexandra Hill with Goh Si Guim

for Nature Society (Singapore) members only

Alexandra Hill is a hamlet of black–and-white houses set amidst verdant greenery. Left largely untouched, many trees here have attained majestic statures. Walking along on its quiet roads gives one a countryside feel. The area has become home to many birds and small animals. Let us spend a morning discovering for ourselves the types of flora and fauna that are flourishing here.

Time: 8am. Meet at junction of Hyderabad Road with Alexandra Road.
Website: http://www.nss.org.sg/
Contact: email contact@nss.org.sg or call 6741 2036.

20 Mar (Sat): Run 350 at Pulau Ubin by Young NTUC

Enjoy the rural and natural beauty of the island while running. See for yourself what are you running for and help to preserve it!
Why 350?
350 ppm (parts per million) is the upper safety limit for atmospheric carbon dioxide and the inconvenient truth is that it's currently standing at 387 ppm. The Carbon Dioxide (CO2) level increases at an alarming rate from decade to decade, thus urging for calls to slow down the effects of climate change before irreversible damages are done to our home.

Plant-a-Tree Programme
Proceeds from the run will go towards reforestation efforts through the Garden City Fund's Plant-a-Tree Programme. The target is raise enough funds to plant 350 trees.

Run 350 is part of the environment-related initiatives by Young NTUC. It aims to raise awareness about the carbon footprint issue that was one of the key issues discussed during COP15 last December, while proceeds from the run will go towards our reforestation efforts through Plant-a-Tree programme.

More details at http://www.run350.com/faq.html

Flag off: 3.50pm (10km run), 4.50pm (5km run)
Venue: Pulau Ubin
Cost: $20 for NTUC Members, $30 for Non-members. Proceeds will go towards reforestation efforts via Garden City Fund's Plant-a-Tree Programme, targeting to raise enough to plant 350 trees.
Website: http://www.Run350.com
Ticketing contact: tickets.com email: info@tdc.sg hotline: 6296-2929

20 Mar (Sat): Mangrove walk at Sungei Buloh

Free guided nature walk along the Mangrove boardwalk under shady mangrove trees. Spot mudskippers, crabs and other marine life, learn about our mangroves, enjoy views of the Johor straits.

Suitable for young children.

Registration is not required for small walk-in groups. But each walk is limited to 15 persons per guide and is on a first-come -first-served basis. The walks are weather permitting and may merge with other activities at the Reserve. Those coming with large groups are advised to pre-register.

More about the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the wildsingapore website and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve website. This walk is conducted by the volunteer guides of NParks' Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and is held every Saturday.

Time: 9.30am and 3.30pm for walk in guests, register at the Visitor Centre.
Tour duration: One to one-and-a-half hours. Suitable for young children.
Entry charges: While the walk is free, admission fees to the Reserve apply: $1 per adult, 50cents per child/student/senior citizen.
Website: http://www.sbwr.org.sg/
Contact:
info@sbwr.org.sg or call 6794 1401

20 Mar (Sat): Mangrove walk at Pasir Ris Park

Eppy Walk What exactly is a mudskipper? And who is Fiddler crab or Sesamine crab? Does a dog-faced water snake look more like a dog or a snake? Join the team and discover answers to the questions above and more. And if we’re lucky, we may be able to see some of the seashore animals at the river mouth (depending on the tide conditions).

Suitable for kids.

Registration closes one day before the walk date.

This walk is held every third Saturday. More details on the Pasir Ris Park website.

Time: 9-10am
Venue: Pasir Ris Park, Pasir Ris Green (Carpark C)
Cost: $4/person
Website: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/
Contact: chong_wei_teng@nparks.gov.sg

20 Mar (Sat): Guided walk at the National Orchid Garden

A leisurely stroll through a garden of orchids and other special plants.

This walk is conducted by the volunteers of the Singapore Botanic Gardens and is held every third Saturday of the month.

A tour in Mandarin is also conducted at 4pm.

Time: 9am, 10am, 11am (English) and 4pm (Mandarin), register at Visitor Centre 15 minutes before the tour starts. Registration is on a first-come-first-served basis.
Tour duration: One hour.
Cost: While the tour is free, admission charges to the Orchid Garden applies: $5/adult, $1/student, $1/senior citizens (above 60 years) , Child below 12 years - Free
Website: http://www.sbg.org.sg/
Contact: Visitor Services 6471 7361

20 Mar (Sat): Workshop for kids - Fly ... Dragonfly!

Dragonflies are fascinating insects that have existed for approximately 300 million years. The winged adults are diversely coloured from reds to blues and yellows. A dragonfly’s speed and agility makes it one of the fastest and most effective aerial predators. However in highly urbanised Singapore, dragonflies have become memories. But they are still around and well, waiting for a new generation to rediscover and appreciate them.
In this mini-workshop, you will be introduced to the ecology and biology of dragonflies. Live specimens of larvae will also be presented. A short visit to nearby ponds to look for dragonflies will complete the session.

Suitable for children above 9 years old.

Part of "Connecting With Nature Week" and presented by Robin Ngiam

Time: 9.30-11am
Venue: HortPark, Hands-On-House
Cost: $2 per person
Website: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/
Contact: 6471 5601

20 Mar (Sat): Night Workshop for kids - Bats are Beautiful!

Bats are awesome flying mammals. They are important to us as they help pollinate plants that in turn produce fruit for us. Insect-eating bats help control our insect-pest numbers, while fruit-eating bats help disperse seeds that contribute to our forests. Join us in this bat-watching session and enjoy a “wayang kulit” (shadow-puppet show) about bats.
Suitable for children above 5 years old.

Part of "Connecting With Nature Week", this is a collaboration between NParks and Cicada Tree Eco-Place. Cicada Tree Eco-Place is a non-government, non-profit organisation that promotes the natural and cultural heritage of Singapore through environmental education and eco-living.

Time: 5.30-8pm
Venue: HortPark, Hands-On-House
Cost: $20 per child
Website: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/
Contact: 6471 5601

20 Mar (Sat): Talk on "All About Environment-Friendly Gardening"

Wilson Wong gives this talk. How we maintain our gardens can have important effects on the environment we live in. In this talk, Wilson will share various sustainable gardening tips and products, such as vermi-composting and environmentally-friendly pest and disease management techniques that will help you conserve and protect our natural resources and environment.

The talk is free.

Time: 3-5pm
Venue: HortPark, Fruit Room
Website and contact: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/

20 Mar (Sat): Guided walk at the Sensory Trail, Pulau Ubin

Experience Ubin's wonderful nature through your senses along our Sensory Trail, the trail will brought you to the patch of herbs and spices and a "Secret Garden" to feel the original garden used to be on the island. Much more along the trail for you to explore.

This walk is held every third Saturday of the month.

Booking now online until 13 Feb.

For more details about this walk, see the NParks website
More about the Sensory Trail on the wildsingapore website and Ubin Volunteers blog

Time: Walks starts 9.30am and lasts for about 1.5 hours. Meet at the Pulau Ubin Main Information Kiosk next to the Ubin Jetty.
Cost: $60 per group of 15 persons, maximum 6 groups
Website and contact: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/

20 Mar (Sat): Free guided tour of the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden

The Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is a specialized garden dedicated to children. The garden stimulates a sense of wonder for the plant world and provide happy memories for our child visitors. Through play and exploration, children learn about the importance of plants and conservation. This is the first garden of its kind in Asia.

Come and join our free one-hour guided tours of the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden conducted by trained Student Volunteer Guides from NUS High School.

Suitable for families & children in K1 - P6 levels.

Maximum 15 participants per group. To register, approach the Information Counter located at the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden at least 15 minutes before the tour starts.

The tour will be held every Saturday and Sunday from 6 March to 2 May with additional sessions on 2 April 2010, Good Friday.

Times: 10am, 11am, 2pm, 30pm
Venue: Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, Bukit Timah Core of the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Website and contact: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/ or call 6471 9961 / 6465 0196 or nparks_sbg_edu@nparks.gov.sg.

20 Mar (Sat): Plants and Their Uses - a guided tour for kids

Plants play a key role in our lives. Come explore the plant collection in our Garden where opportunities to study, smell and feel selected plant specimens will be provided! Special emphasis will be made on the economic uses of these plants to humans.

For enquiry and registration, please contact the Education at 64719961 or through email: nparks_sbg_edu@nparks.gov.sg. Online registration is available on www.sbg.org.sg (under "Education")

Suitable for children in K1 - P6 levels

Time: 10-11.00am
Cost: $6 per child and $6 per accompanying adult
Venue: Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, Bukit Timah Core of the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Website and contact: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/

18 Mar (Thu): The Birthday Party - a guided tour for kids

Sara is celebrating her baby brother's birthday party. At the last minute, she realizes she forgot the birthday present! Help Sara search for the perfect gift at the Children's Garden. Along the way, have a fun and memorable experience in this new Garden dedicated to children.

Suitable for children in K1 – P2 levels.

To register, email nparks_sbg_edu@nparks.gov.sg or call 64719961 or register online at www.sbg.org.sg (under "Education")

Time: 10-11am
Cost: $8.50 per child (includes $2.50 “The Birthday Party. Sara at the Children’s Garden” workbook); $6 per accompanying parent.
Venue: Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, Bukit Timah Core
Website: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/
Contact: 6471 9961 or nparks_sbg_edu@nparks.gov.sg

17 Mar (Wed): The Magic Seeds of Good Behaviour- a drama workshop for kids

Discover nature and its creatures through story, dramatization and the use of props in this drama series! Centered on nature and creatures whose habitat are gardens and rainforests, each workshop will feature a creature and a character building value to educate children to emulate the good value in their lives.

For enquiry and registration, please contact the Education at 64719961 or through email: nparks_sbg_edu@nparks.gov.sg. Online registration is available on www.sbg.org.sg (under "Education")

Part of the “Creatures in Nature” Drama Series, suitable for children in K1 - P6 levels

Time: 10-11.00am
Cost: $6 per child
Venue: Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, Bukit Timah Core of the Singapore Botanic Gardens

16 Mar (Tue): Plants and Their Uses - a guided tour for kids

Plants play a key role in our lives. Come explore the plant collection in our Garden where opportunities to study, smell and feel selected plant specimens will be provided! Special emphasis will be made on the economic uses of these plants to humans.

For enquiry and registration, please contact the Education at 64719961 or through email: nparks_sbg_edu@nparks.gov.sg. Online registration is available on www.sbg.org.sg (under "Education")

Suitable for children in K1 - P6 levels

Time: 10-11.00am
Cost: $6 per child and $6 per accompanying adult
Venue: Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, Bukit Timah Core of the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Website and contact: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/

8-14 Mar: Highlights of the week ahead

For kids and family: a bonanza of activities for the school holidays!
There are even MORE activities during the school holidays, and those especially for kids.

Walks in wild places

Other activities

Early next week

Special announcement!

BiodiverCity Photo Competition: closing date extended to 28 Mar. Send in your entry to showcase Singapore's biodiversity and win attractive prizes including cash and a trip to the Maldives. More information on the Celebrating Singapore's Biodiversity blog.

Registration now open
Singapore news highlights

Some interesting nature blog posts
For daily updates on latest blog posts about Singapore's wildlife, become a fan of the Celebrating Singapore's Biodiversity facebook page.

Photo of the week is this cute little nudibranch shared by Neo Mei Lin. For more photos of our amazing underwater wildlife and how to dive to see them, join her I love SG Reefs facebook group.

Hypselodoris emmae, originally uploaded by MoMo1986.

15-19 Mar: Southern Ridges Nature Tour for kids

Part of "Connecting With Nature Week". Explore the Southern Ridges, a soothing sanctuary of greenery that is steeped in history and home to some of nature's greatest gifts of flora and fauna. Highlights of the tour include the Henderson Waves, Forest Walk, Alexandra Arch and Floral Walk.

Suitable for children above 6 years old.

Please gather at the meeting point 10 minutes prior to the tour.

Time: 9-11am
Venue: Henderson Waves Entrance (Along Mount Faber Loop)
Cost: $8 per person
Website: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/
Contact: 6471 5601

15 Mar (Mon): Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve with Cicada Tree Eco Place

This wetland reserve is now a resting and feeding spot for migratory birds. But it also hosts a fantastic diversity of native fauna and flora. In the past, the area had several kampongs (villages) with the locals tending to vegetable and fruit tree plots. Many of these fruit trees and traditional herbs still survive and may be encountered along the trails. The people also constructed fish and prawn ponds in the mangroves. These are now used by the birds.

Trails: Level dirt paths and boardwalks suitable for children, the elderly, disabled or participants using wheelchairs.

Minimum age 6 years old. Minimum 20 pax for walk to go ahead.

Advance registration & payment is required. Register with Celine Low contact@cicadatree.org.sg

Time: 4-6pm
Cost: $13 per person (adult or child), excluding park entrance fees. Park entrance fee is $1.00 for adults, 50 cents for children.
Website: http://www.cicadatree.org.sg/
Contact: Celine Low contact@cicadatree.org.sg

14 Mar (Sun): MAD lesson on Monkeys with Cicada Tree Eco Place

Photo by Kelvin LimMonkeys are special. They are mammals just like we are. In Singapore, we have two species of monkeys that live wild and free. They are the Long-tailed Macaque and the Banded Leaf Monkey. Come learn all about monkeys and other primates and how we can make a positive difference in their lives.

For kid between the ages of 5 and 10.
Please sign up early as it's limited to 20 kids per class.
For enquiries and registration, please contact Celine Low at contact@cicadatree.org.sg

Time: 2.30-4.30pm
Venue: Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden.
Cost: $15 per child which includes a lovely badge.
Website:
http://www.cicadatree.org.sg/

14 Mar (Sun): Mangrove walk at Sungei Buloh

Free guided nature walk along the Mangrove boardwalk under shady mangrove trees. Spot mudskippers, crabs and other marine life, learn about our mangroves, enjoy views of the Johor straits.

Suitable for young children.

Registration is not required for small walk-in groups. But each walk is limited to 15 persons per guide and is on a first-come -first-served basis. The walks are weather permitting and may merge with other activities at the Reserve. Those coming with large groups are advised to pre-register.

More about the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the wildsingapore website and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve website. This walk is conducted by the volunteer guides of NParks' Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and is held every Sunday morning, subject to availability of guides.

Time: 9.30 am (subject to availability of guides) for walk in guests, register at the Visitor Centre.
Tour duration: One to one-and-a-half hours. Suitable for young children.
Entry charges: While the walk is free, admission fees to the Reserve apply: $1 per adult, 50cents per child/student/senior citizen.
Website: http://www.sbwr.org.sg/
Contact: info@sbwr.org.sg or call 6794 1401

14 Mar (Sun): Free guided tour of the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden

The Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is a specialized garden dedicated to children. The garden stimulates a sense of wonder for the plant world and provide happy memories for our child visitors. Through play and exploration, children learn about the importance of plants and conservation. This is the first garden of its kind in Asia.

Come and join our free one-hour guided tours of the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden conducted by trained Student Volunteer Guides from NUS High School.

Suitable for families & children in K1 - P6 levels.

Maximum 15 participants per group. To register, approach the Information Counter located at the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden at least 15 minutes before the tour starts.

The tour will be held every Saturday and Sunday from 6 March to 2 May with additional sessions on 2 April 2010, Good Friday.

Times: 10am, 11am, 2pm, 30pm
Venue: Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, Bukit Timah Core of the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Website and contact: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/ or call 6471 9961 / 6465 0196 or nparks_sbg_edu@nparks.gov.sg.

14 Mar (Sun): Fly High@West Coast Park

Come down this March holidays to learn how to make a kite! Make your own little kite, personalise it and watch it fly high on our Grand Lawn! This workshop also features demonstration of stunt kites by professionals!
To register, please contact Lili at lin_lili@nparks.gov.sg. Registration closes 3 days before the workshop or when the class is full.

Time: 3-4.30pm
Venue: West Coast Park - Grand Lawn Stage (near playground and carpark 3)
Cost: $3.50/person
Website and contact: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/

13 Mar (Sat): MAD lesson on Monkeys with Cicada Tree Eco Place

Photo by Kelvin LimMonkeys are special. They are mammals just like we are. In Singapore, we have two species of monkeys that live wild and free. They are the Long-tailed Macaque and the Banded Leaf Monkey. Come learn all about monkeys and other primates and how we can make a positive difference in their lives.

For kid between the ages of 5 and 10.
Please sign up early as it's limited to 20 kids per class.
For enquiries and registration, please contact Celine Low at contact@cicadatree.org.sg

Time: 2.30-4.30pm
Venue: Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden.
Cost: $15 per child which includes a lovely badge.
Website:
http://www.cicadatree.org.sg/

13 Mar (Sat): Forest walk at the Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail

A free guided nature walk through a rainforest right in the heart of the city! Along paved trails, under the shade of giant trees, learn about our rainforests, spot forest creatures and strange plants.

Suitable for young children.

More about the Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail on the wildsingapore website. This walk is conducted by the volunteer guides of NPark's Singapore Botanic Gardens and is held every second Saturday of the month.

A special Mandarin version of this tour is at 4pm.

Time: 9am, 10am, 11am (Enligsh) and 4pm (Mandarin); Register 15 minutes before the tour at the Visitor Centre.
Tour duration: One hour.
Website: http://www.sbg.org.sg/
Contact: Visitor Services, 64717361 or NPARKS_SBG_Visitor_Services@NPARKS.GOV.SG

13 Mar (Sat): Mangrove walk at Sungei Buloh

Free guided nature walk along the Mangrove boardwalk under shady mangrove trees. Spot mudskippers, crabs and other marine life, learn about our mangroves, enjoy views of the Johor straits.

Suitable for young children.

Registration is not required for small walk-in groups. But each walk is limited to 15 persons per guide and is on a first-come -first-served basis. The walks are weather permitting and may merge with other activities at the Reserve. Those coming with large groups are advised to pre-register.

More about the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the wildsingapore website and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve website. This walk is conducted by the volunteer guides of NParks' Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and is held every Saturday.

Time: 9.30am and 3.30pm for walk in guests, register at the Visitor Centre.
Tour duration: One to one-and-a-half hours. Suitable for young children.
Entry charges: While the walk is free, admission fees to the Reserve apply: $1 per adult, 50cents per child/student/senior citizen.
Website: http://www.sbwr.org.sg/
Contact:
info@sbwr.org.sg or call 6794 1401

13 Mar (Sat): Tour of the Permaculture trail at HortPark

Part of "Connecting With Nature Week". The Permaculture Trail is a concept garden that encompasses a science exploration trail and a sustainable food garden (also known as the Edible Yard). You can walk through the 11 stations at the Edible Yard, you will see an array of vegetables, food crops, herbs and spices, all of which are naturally grown using non-chemical fertilizers. No chemical pesticides were used on the plants in the Edible Yard.

This is a collaboration with Xie International. Xie International has a concept garden 'Permaculture Trail' in HortPark that encompasses a science exploration, learning trail and sustainable food garden.

The walk is free.

Time: 10-11am
Venue: HortPark, Visitor Services Counter
Website and contact: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/

13-28 Mar: Nature Art Exhibition at HortPark

Part of "Connecting with Nature Week". Enjoy a display of paintings and art visuals depicting HortPark and the Southern Ridges by Mr Tham Puisan and students from the NAFA Department of Media & Design. Walk around HortPark and you may be able to see an artist from 19 - 22 March 2010, between 9.00am and 4.30pm. The artist will be happy to talk to you about his inspirations and techniques.

Venue: HortPark, Exhibition Gallery
Website: http://www.nparks.gov.sg
Contact: 6471 5601

13 Mar (Sat): Kent Ridge Park Tour for kids

Part of "Connecting With Nature Week". Kent Ridge Park is one of the few places in Singapore that is rich in both historical and natural heritage. You will be guided through the forest to learn about interesting fauna and flora, while learning all about the fiercest battle fought during the World War II.

Suitable for children above 7 years old.

Time: 9-10.30 am
Cost: $6 per person
Venue: The Southern Ridges, Kent Ridge Park Carpark B
Website: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/
Contact: 6471 5601