Allotment Gardens have become an integral part of the Jurong-Clementi estate and with a growing community interest in gardening, plans are afoot to set up new allotment gardens, community gardens, therapeutic gardens and micro forests in the neighbourhood. These will cater to residents in Clementi, Jurong Spring, Taman Jurong, Jurong Central, Bukit Batok, Bukit Batok East and Yuhua estates.
The allotment Gardens concept was introduced by the National Parks Board (NParks) under the Community in Bloom programme and is aimed at reigniting the kampung spirit. This initiative not only seeks to implement new large-scale community gardens and allotment gardens for residents to share best gardening practices, but also strives to bring nature closer to the residents. Thus, in order to support the growing interest among the residents, Jurong Clementi Town Council decided to implement the Allotment Gardens scheme in the housing estates.
It also aligns with Singapore’s goal to produce 30% of fresh produce by 2030 to boost the country’s food production capacity. Over this decade, allotment gardens will help to improve Singapore’s food security by supporting homegrown foods rather than importing food items. Besides allowing the residents to lease a plot to hone their gardening skills, the project hopes to encourage sustainable growing habits. Furthermore, the allotment gardens scheme hopes to allow the younger generation to better understand the process of growing foods as well as educating them on food sustainability and the importance of minimising food waste.
Some of the key considerations for these new site locations include adequate sunlight and integrating the new community gardens with the therapeutic gardens. Other key considerations include the gradient and water-related issues of the site; whether there are existing amenities that complement the design of the allotment gardens; and most importantly, the accessibility and safety aspects when it comes to the layout of the different gardens.
In keeping with the kampung spirit, the allotment gardens will be built with an open concept – there will be no barriers or fencing in order to facilitate community bonding for residents of all ages.
The establishment of therapeutic gardens is part of Jurong-Clementi Town Council’s collaboration with the Ministry Of Health Holdings to use outdoor gardens to meet park users’ physical, psychological, and social needs. NParks notes that visitors can experience the relief of mental fatigue, reduced stress, and better emotional well-being when they combine their visits with therapeutic horticulture programmes that involve plants and nature. The therapeutic gardens will be equipped with benches.
As part of its therapeutic horticulture programme, specially-trained volunteers will lead nature-related activities that have been specially designed to meet the therapeutic goals of various health conditions such as dementia, post-stroke recovery and other mental illnesses.
Residents who are keen to take up a gardening plot in the allotment gardens can approach their Residents’ Committee or Residents’ Network offices to inquire about the booking process, the terms and conditions for booking and the availability of the garden plot.
The first allotment garden in JRTC is located at Block 522 in Jurong Spring. With an increase in demand for allotment gardens, JRTC is undertaking this project across its seven divisions as part of its sustainability efforts.