With the opening of Singapore’s tallest outdoor play feature at former Big Splash site in the East Coast Park, Singapore has added another facility to its recreation economy.
As Singapore is a role model in many areas, recreation is not exception to its portfolio of entertainment facilities. From earlier on, Singaporeans have realised the vital role that recreation, sports and vibrant night life play in creating a multi-faceted life in the City state.
The iconic landmark which ceased to operate in 2016 – has been re-modeled into Coastal PlayGrove, a 4.5-hectare development with an outdoor play area, a water play area and new retail and dining offerings.
One of the prominent features is a 16m-high Play Tower, a restoration of the iconic Big Splash tower.
The new development also has an outdoor classroom by the sea for pre-schoolers and a nature play garden.
NParks also came out with plans to construct a 15km nature trail that will run through the entire length of East Coast Park.
Coastal PlayGrove and the upcoming nature trail will offer more diverse recreational opportunities at East Coast Park. The range of activities include active play and tranquil nature-based interactions for families and the general public.
The nature trail will help redistribute crowds across Singapore’s largest park.
16m-high iconic play tower
One of the attractions of the Coastal PlayGrove is a 16m-high tower, the Singapore tallest outdoor play feature.
The tower has a host of features including a vertical net play area, known as the Vertical Challenge, for youths.
Some of the diverse play activities in the Vertical Challenge are stepping pods, hammocks, hoop maze, zig-zag bridge, ball step traverse, wobble link, grip wall, wave traverse and disc swings.
The entire design concept is based on the theme of “waves and shores”, in keeping with the water park and coastal heritage of East Coast Park with the same “vibrant colours” as Big Splash’s previous water slides.
It also has two tube slides, at heights of 7.3m and 11.9m, on the third and fourth floors.
At the foot of the tower is Leisure Nets, designed to mimic waves along the shore and are ideal for children aged 5-12 to climb and explore.
Ensuing is a water play area with a wading pool and jets of water with illumination at night in various colours.
A narrow stream with the water jets links the two main pools, with platforms to facilitate wheelchair access along the main pools and the stream.
The newly opened Coastal PlayGrove also has a nature play garden with three zones for children to explore.
In the last zone, a trail leads to the sand pit, with a balancing board as a play element. An outdoor classroom for pre-schoolers is next to the play area.
Nature trail along East Coast Park
NParks envisage over the next 10 years to construct a nature trail, covering the entire length of East Coast Park, from Changi to Gardens by the Bay East.
It will link existing and upcoming therapeutic gardens, nature playgardens and forest patches.
East Coast Park is the Singapore’s largest and most popular park with 7.5 million visits a year.
Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong opened Coastal PlayGrove on last Sunday morning together with National Development Minister Desmond Lee.
Noting how the former Big Splash site is “a special place for many Singaporeans”, Mr Goh said: “I am excited at the opening of the reimagined Coastal PlayGrove today, where residents of all ages can gather and create more fond memories together.”
Significantly, Singaporean government has diversified its economy in a remarkable manner within a limited space in the city state. Creativity and innovation is the hallmarks of Singapore’s sustainable development model.
It has not solely dependent on trade and commerce as drivers of economic growth and also not exclusively, dependent on export-oriented industries, but also promotes the life-philosophy of diversity; after all variety is the spice of life. And in Singapore, variety and diversity seems to be the spice of the economy.