Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sentosa Nature Discovery Gallery is Literally Asia Favourite

The Sentosa Nature Discovery is an information hub for guests of all ages to learn skills to become a “nature detective”. From interesting facts and colourful exhibits spread out in a two-storey indoor information gallery, to the wildlife and habitats thriving in the great outdoors, there are tools all around on Asia’s Favourite Playground to help guests sharpen their instincts and enable them to uncover intriguing surprises that nature has in store.

At the Sentosa Nature Discovery gallery, our guests become “nature detectives” by using their senses to observe, classify, compare, and infer from the surroundings. They can learn to identify species of birds and insects through the sounds that the wildlife make, as well as the ‘clues’ they leave behind. Our “nature detectives” can also get acquainted with the various habitats and rocks that are found on Sentosa. Sentosa will be rolling out a series of educational programmes targeted at schools. These programmes incorporate activities to promote skill-based and experiential learning. The hands-on activities are designed to evoke critical and creative thinking amongst students while they have fun.

Set within a diverse environment, the Sentosa Nature Discovery gallery is literally a ‘living classroom’ for experiential learning. Everything in and around the forest can be used in each educational journey. Even the building that houses the information gallery has a story to tell as it is a former monorail station that has been preserved and transformed into the S$5.5 million dollar nature attraction. The former monorail system took visitors on a scenic journey over the forest canopy, and it is the nostalgia of this popular ride through the greenery that inspired the design of the Sentosa Nature Discovery gallery. What was once the monorail track now also forms the bridge that links the nature gallery with the Imbiah rainforest.

Over the years, Sentosa has committed to preserving the island’s historical landscape and nature heritage amid many new developments on the island. Many of the older buildings on Sentosa have architectural and historical significance and play an integral role in our history. These historic icons have been thoughtfully conserved, giving them a new lease of life. Some of Sentosa’s conservation partnerships include the Tourism Academy at Sentosa, Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa, the Sentosa Resort and Spa, and more recently, Capella Singapore, which comprises two restored 1880s colonial-era buildings. Sentosa is also committed to keeping the island 60% green by actively preserving and enhancing the island’s natural environment. Sentosa is home to more than 30 heritage trees, Singapore’s largest collection.

There are eight different nature reserve habitats, 134 species of birds and dozens more rare species of flora and fauna. Efforts are also underway to enrich the forested areas on Sentosa and restore them to a primary status where increased biodiversity creates a lush environment for wildlife to thrive. Since November 2007, over 20,000 plants and native species have been planted in aid of this cause. About a dozen schools have sown the seeds for a greener future by actively participating in this tree planting campaign under Sentosa’s “Grow Our Nature Heritage” programme. Through this process, we hope to nurture in the young a sense of ownership and stewardship for the environment.


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