and Irreplaceable Nature
by Trixie Tan
Nature Day arrived
this year with the enduring message of protecting our inheritance
for future generations. For many of us, and hopefully more to come,
Nature has become an irreplaceable part of our lives. It takes centrestage
in unison with our families, our work and our understanding of the
world we have come to inhabit. From May 5 to 7, 2001, the Nature
Society (Singapore) demonstrated, through exhibitions, shows and
educational walks, how to "Celebrate Nature, Celebrate our Heritage".
With its brigade of enthusiastic volunteers, Nature Day was both
three days of fun and entertainment, as well as bringing home the
message of caring for our natural environment. For the second time
running, PARCO Bugis Junction generously sponsored its shopping
mall location for this event. At the official opening, NSS President,
Dr Geh Min, and PARCO Bugis Junction General Manager Mr Tong Kok
Wing, symbolically "re-leafed" a bare treea gesture which
showed the importance of nature as part of our heritage.
Each leaf represented a resolution to ensure that our environment
continues to be protected. The activities were organised by the
Society's special interest groups and volunteers as well as other
environmental organisations such as Sungei Buloh Nature Park, Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Singapore Environmental
Council. Raleigh International (Singapore) Operation Tashi Deleg
was also present to raise funds for its youth participants.
A host of activities were also put on for kids and by kids. These
included animal face painting, henna tattooing, button badge-making
and painting your own T-shirts. Merchandise on sale were a variety
of t-shirts, bird ceramics, nature photographs, canvas bags, nature
publications, potted plants, organic vegetables, gifts and stationery.
Not forgetting performances by student finalists of BirdLife International's
"Save the Birds, Save the Trees, Save the Earth" regional competition
organised in Singapore by the Society's Education Group. The Environmentalists,
a group from CHIJ Katong Primary School who performed their poem
at the launch, had been selected to represent Asia at the worldwide
competition which will be held in Taiwan.
No Nature Day is ever complete without its stars. This year, our
committed volunteers also gave their all to give show-and-tell sessions
on pitcher plants, stick and leaf insects, ferns, figs, pondlife
and of course, nature walks and story-telling. Exhibitions were
also mounted to tell stories about "Apes - Man's nearest relatives
endangered", "Our Marine Heritage", Pulau Ubin, "Save the Birds"
and "Wildlife in Danger".
Three days were just not enough to tell Nature's story - so look
out for next year's Nature Day for the unending and enduring tale
of our planet.
The volunteers had as much fun
as the kids when it came to
getting their faces painted
to publicise their booth.
donated potted flowering plants,
herbs and a variety of houseplants
for sale at the plant booth to raise funds for the NSS Plant group.
Looking at the selection, from left.
Mrs Angie Ng, Dr Geh Min,
Dr Vilma D'Rozario, and
Mr Tong Kok Wing, General Manager of PARCO Bugis Junction.
Dr Tan Wee Kiat,
carnivorous plant enthusiast, conducting a show-and-tell session
with cuttings of his favourite plants.
CHIJ Katong Primary 3 students
on stage with their act to
"Save the Birds, Save the Trees,
Save the Earth".
The awareness exhibitions on endangered wildlife and their
habitats sent a message out
to both young and old.
The indoor, air-conditioned
shopping mall of PARCO
Bugis Junction was the perfect
setting for the event, reaching
out to thousands of shoppers
daily during the 3-day festivities.