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March 05, 2008

Return To Nature In Lower Peirce Reservoir Park, Singapore

Return To Nature In Lower Peirce Reservoir Park, Singapore

Did you know that the Peirce Reservior in Singapore was built in 1910? It was initially called the Kalang (yes, spelled with one letter “L”) River Reservoir? Only from 1922 was the name replaced as Peirce Reservoir. Much later in 1975 the Lower and Upper Peirce Reservoirs were formed after construction of a dam to raise water supplies.

As a place of interest in Singapore, it’s been many years since I last set foot there. I walked recently on the grounds of Lower Peirce Reservoir, Singapore’s second oldest reservoir, situated at Old Upper Thomson Road. The developmental upgrading in its landscape had brought the rainforest into close proximity to the public with construction of the Lower Peirce Trail. At the fringe of Singapore’s Central Water Catchment Reserve, elevated boardwalks laid out under a canopy of trees provide visitors a close-up view of the forest and its inhabitants. An easy 30-minute walk will take visitors including children around the edge of Peirce Reservoir and into a forest where trees over a hundred years old have been known to exist. I read about rainforest flora and fauna from printed signboards that dotted the nine-hundred-metre long wooden paths as I breathed the earth and listened to forest life as a passer-by. As an urban dweller unaccustomed to spending time with nature, I appreciated the woody fragrance: sweet, pleasant and totally refreshing.

I liked sitting on a bench next to pretty flowers by the water’s edge to enjoy one of my favourite reservoir panoramas in Singapore. A hush seemed to descend over anglers, picnickers, joggers and couples as a daily ritual of the universe began to unfold. The wide-open space presented a shifting curtain of sundown light, stirring hypnotic reflections on lapping waters. A bird entered the scenery, performed a graceful dance through the air and exited to the left. The play of colour and light continued until the final ray of dusk subsided and was gone. I rose as if to give a standing ovation to nature’s sublime performance and walked off a little tipsy, not quite believing that life’s treasured moments could be as pure, simple and enjoyable as what I had witnessed.

For peaceful contemplation and a return to nature, I strongly recommend that you chuck the cosmopolitan lifestyle aside and reach for the nearest reservoir near you.

Take care and stay happy.

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