Parakeet paradise, skillful kingfishers, winding waterways and towering trees…
These are just a few of the things Springleaf Park has to offer. Tucked in the foresty area Upper Thomson Road, surrounded by the Central Catchment Reserve, this 6-ha park is a haven for nature-lovers and a beautiful park for joggers, walkers and residents nearby.
When we entered the park, we saw a small cafe called “Verdure“. I thought it was a great idea to have a cafe in the park, so that there is a place to relax or sit when its raining, enjoy a snack, or for students to study with the view of nature.
Near the cafe, a cute little dog peered out from a car, looking out at the people walking to and fro in the park, probably longing to go out too!
Springleaf Nature Park was formerly a part of a “kampong” or village by the name Chan Chu Kang village, named after Chan Ah Lak, who acquired the land near Seletar River to cultivate gambier and pepper.
The area was also formerly a oil palm plantation, and this palm tree is a remnant of that plantation.
The dense forests near Chan Chu Kang were also favored for the collection of botanical and zoological specimens. Prominent collectors, including Henry Nicholas Ridley (who was the first director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens) made the first collections of native plant species from the area which is now called Springleaf Park. These specimens were stored in the Singapore Botanic Gardens Herbarium, and can still be found there today.
The skies were a bit cloudy that afternoon when we visited the park on New Year’s eve, and the park was very quiet and tranquil with swifts and swallows flying around. The main trail of the park is along a waterway, and we saw many White-throated kingfishers (Halcyon smyrnensis) either perched on trees or waiting near the waterway to catch fish!
The flowers at the entrance were vibrant and colorful, making the part attractive to not only humans but buzzing butterflies and dragonflies!
We spotted many dragonflies around the park, including the Common Scarlet, Common Parasol male and female. Unfortunately we didn’t see many butterflies around.
While photographing the Common Parasol female, I didn’t even realize that there was this little leaf bug inside the flower! 🙂
It was quite interesting to see, along the waterway, cleared heaps of algae and weeds from the bottom of the waterway. There was a strong smell but it was good to see that the canals are being kept clean.
To see this lovely Long-tailed Shrike was a perfect end to our walk. It surveyed the bushes below it carefully, as if waiting to catch an insect or frog to relish!
Our walk was filled with calls of the parakeets in our ears and their swift flight above us, their magnificent tails following. We would eagerly look at the forest on either side of the waterway, longing to explore inside the dense forests and what it has to offer. Despite not seeing that much of wildlife, it is clear that this park is an area of a lot of biodiversity, and the tall trees and thick forest give wildlife the perfect place to hide and be away from human presence. Do visit this beautiful place if you have the time.
P.S -A very happy new year to everyone! Hope you have an amazing, nature-filled year ahead 🙂 I have a resolution to spend as much time as I can (despite my busy school life) outdoors, in nature, and update my blog more regularly. Let me know in the comments what you resolutions are!
SPRINGLEAF NATURE PARK
Address: 1230 Upper Thomson Rd Singapore, 787129
Nearest MRT station: Marymount station (There will be a closer MRT station as a part of the Thomson East Cost line called Springleaf MRT station, which will be opened in 2020)