27 March 2016 – The National Parks Board (NParks) has unveiled an avenue of Heritage Trees at Connaught Drive, in conjunction with the second instalment of Car-Free Sunday. Launched by Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development, Mr Desmond Lee this morning, the “Avenue of Heritage Trees” features a total of 22 Heritage Rain Trees, marking it as the largest number of trees in a single avenue endorsed under the NParks’ Heritage Tree Scheme (Please see Factsheet A for more information on the Heritage Tree Scheme).
This Avenue of Heritage Trees will be part of an upcoming Civic District Tree Trail, which will be opened to the public from 1 May 2016. This Tree Trail will allow members of public to learn about these Heritage Rain Trees, as well as other interesting trees in the Civic District with a rich history.
Mr Lee said, “Even as we continue to plant new trees, we must also cherish and protect the trees that have been maturing gracefully since Singapore’s early days. These trees are a familiar sight for us, and have been providing shade, shelter, and a green respite for many generations of Singaporeans.
The Avenue of Heritage Trees gives us the opportunity to appreciate and to learn more about these important living heritage landmarks. Many of them are probably older than modern Singapore and have been silent witnesses of Singapore’s transformation. These include many historic events at the Civic District, such as Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s declaration of Singapore’s independence from the British in 1963, and our first National Day parade in 1966 at the Padang.”
Avenue of Heritage Trees at Connaught Drive
Some of the 22 Heritage Rain Trees along Connaught Drive endorsed under the Heritage Tree Scheme are estimated to have been planted in the mid-1880s, which would make them over 130 years old. They would have witnessed historic events in the Civic District including the declaration of independence from the British for Singapore (and Singapore joining Malaysia) by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in 1963, and Singapore’s first National Day celebrations in 1966.
The Avenue of Heritage Trees underscores the rich history of the Civic District and how these majestic Rain Trees have matured over the course of time together with the growth of Singapore as a global city-state.
New Civic District Tree Trail to be opened to the public from 1 May 2016
As part of NParks’ place management efforts to enliven the Civic District, members of the public can relive memories of Singapore’s history, growth and development through the Civic District Tree Trail. The trail will be opened to the public from 1 May to promote the conservation of mature trees and share with the public our natural heritage.
The Civic District Tree Trail will start at the front gate of the Istana to showcase the majestic Rain Trees adorned with lush epiphytes, before passing by some interesting trees such as the Angsana (in front of School of the Arts Singapore), the Heritage Ficus (next to National Museum) as well as other significant trees within Chjimes and the beautiful Sagas within St Andrew’s Cathedral compound. The trail will take visitors past the signature Royal Palms in front of the National Gallery Singapore (formerly City Hall) and lead visitors to the Connaught Drive to admire the Avenue of Heritage Trees and the “Gor Zhang Chiu Kar” Angsana trees at Esplanade Park. The trail will end with visitors taking in sight of the heritage Tamarind Tree at the entrance to the Merlion Park and a grove of Frangipani ‘Singapore White’ trees at Raffles Landing. (Please see Annex B for an overview of the Trail and the list of interesting and heritage trees along the Civic District Tree Trail).
A free guided tour of the two-hour trail will be available every month from May. More details of the guided tours and a downloadable DIY trail e-guide will be available later on the NParks website (http://www.nparks.gov.sg).
Source: www.nparks.gov.sg News Release 27 Mar 2016