With every concrete slab replaced with a patch of luscious grass, a red jungle fowl appears; as the banks get decorated with water hyssops, a pond slider glides past gracefully.
Gradually, a once dull and gray Kallang River has been transformed into the luscious green paradise. Nestled amidst the urban heart of central Singapore lies a verdant oasis, a sanctuary for nature’s resplendent wonders.
How did B-AMK Park achieve greater wildlife diversity? The meticulous re-design of the park mimics a natural floodplain; water overflows it without causing a flood downstream during a storm, as I learnt during my fieldtrip to B-AMK Park with my professor, someone passionate for things nature-related.
Earth Control Measures such as gabions keeps the structural integrity of the soils intact and bioswales ensures water can be filtered by the plants and rocks via trapping sediments, preventing soil erosion that might otherwise disrupt water quality, thus being more accommodating to marine organisms. The vast floodplain is a grazing field for the native jungle fowls, currently at risk of habitat loss, and listed as Endangered in the Singapore Red Data Book.
For optimum management, park go-ers need to foster a sense of ownership for the park and do their part in maintaining its level of cleanliness and beauty. This includes not feeding wildlife, polluting the waters, and not trampling on the plants.
Based on my observations, I learnt that the naturalisation of a canal requires the agglomeration of different factors; this is the cornerstone in effective restoration efforts due to how multi-faceted aspects of ameliorating a canal. I observed that the Kallang River had multiple natural meanders with a flexible river design. By replacing rigidly engineered channels with a natural channel design allows for the creation of meandering, self-maintaining channels which can adjust to accommodate new external influences such as increased volume or velocity of water. Natural meanders also produce point bars and cut banks that can be used as reproducing grounds for animals like otters and jungle fowls.
The restoration of the river has given a multitude of flora and fauna a new home. If you ever find yourself in the area, I urge you, especially wildlife photography enthusiasts to see grey herons standing majestically and otters frolic in the revitalized waters. Take a stroll or cycle along the asphalt paths and view the greenery around you. B-AMK Park is a living testament to nature’s resilience when given the chance to rebound.