Singapore, 30 July 2014 – Singapore Polytechnic (SP) today launched a 120-page coffee table book titled ‘Campus in a Garden’, as part of its year-long 60th anniversary celebrations. The book documents the close to 230 species of plants and over 50 species of birds spotted on SP’s lush campus, and celebrates its commitment to appreciating and conserving the environment.
The book was a result of the combined effort of more than 60 individuals, including staff, students and external advisors from the Nature Society Singapore. It was a labour of love for green enthusiasts, which saw ‘Campus in a Garden’ come to fruition over a period of 10 months. The book hopes to hopes to make staff and students ‘live and think green’.
Since its inception in 1954, SP has continuously sought to preserve its existing flora and replenish greenery despite the extensive campus redevelopment that at times threatens to dislodge the flora and fauna. Today, SP remains the first and only polytechnic that has such rich heritage as well as greenery.
Rare species abound in SP
SP is home to some of the rarest species of flora such as the Brown Woolly Fig (Ficus Drupacea), of which, four out of only 10 such trees in Singapore are found on the SP campus. These four trees are now classified by National Parks Board as Heritage Trees and preserved for posterity. There are 214 Heritage Trees in Singapore. In addition, there are 2,300 trees with a girth of more than one metre found on the 38-hectare campus.
The same can be said of the fauna, with the rare Blue Crowned Hanging Parrot and Oriental Magpie-robin having been spotted on occasion as well (please refer to Annex A for full list of flora and fauna).
To encourage green fingers and foster stronger friendships and community on campus, SP has set up 11 community gardens amidst its lush campus. Each is managed by an academic school as well as the SP Environment Club. These gardens yield bountiful harvests of edibles including fruits such as jambu, jackfruit, chiku, custard apple, passion fruit, longan and star fruit; vegetables such as belimbing, pak choi, capsicum, pandan; and herbs like dill, laksa leaf, Thai and sweet basil, curry leaf and Indian borage.
SP’s many green initiatives
In recognition of the effort to preserve nature as well as create green awareness amongst staff, the institution was awarded the President’s Award for the Environment in 2010; the highest accolade for local organisations. Among the many green initiatives launched by SP are:
- Community gardens tended by staff and students comprising florals and edibles
- Tree auction and plating to raise monies for needy students
- Carbon footprint competition for staff and students to raise awareness and encourage more efficient use of our resources
- Special landscaped gardens such as The Sanctuary and Eco Oasis
- Five-prong effort to reduce energy consumption, nurture and appreciate nature, maintain cleanliness, participate in community service, and initiate environmental activities which was recognised with the ECo (Environment and Community) Award from Southwest Community Development Council in 2011
- Outreach efforts to encourage a love of nature among secondary school students through our environment trails on campus
“We are privileged to have such abundant greenery that enhances our learning spaces at SP, and encourages our staff and students to appreciate and care for our living environment. I hope that we will continue to nurture a strong environmental culture at SP that will inspire others for generations to come”, said Principal and Chief Executive Officer, Tan Choon Shian.
Tree Planting Ceremony
In addition to the launch of ‘Campus in a Garden’, a total of 15 trees were planted by members of SP’s Board of Governors (BOG) today in SP as a symbolic gesture of its commitment to the environment.
As an extension of the celebrations today, staff and students ran 60 rounds around the leafy campus. The event was specially modified from SP’s iconic annual event, Poly 50; which traditionally has participants running 50 laps around the campus, to be Poly 60 this year to mark the 60th anniversary of Singapore’s first polytechnic. The runners were cheered on by the new SP mascot, Jumba which was also unveiled today (please refer to Annex B for more info on Poly 50 and Jumba).
A digital copy of ‘Campus in a Garden’ is available online at http://www.sp.edu.sg/publications/campusinagarden.pdf.
Cover of commemorative coffee table book, ‘Campus in a Garden’, launched by SP today as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations
SP Environment Club members holding the newly launched coffee table book, ‘Campus in a Garden’
SP’s Principal and CEO, Tan Choon Shian, watering the tree he has just planted today as a symbolic gesture to reinforce SP’s commitment to the environment.
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ABOUT SINGAPORE POLYTECHNIC (www.sp.edu.sg)
Established in 1954, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is Singapore’s first polytechnic. It has 10 schools that offer 50 full-time diploma courses for close to 16,000 students. SP has adopted a proven creative teaching and learning framework and it offers students a holistic, authentic and industry-relevant curriculum, innovative and vibrant learning spaces, and enriching overseas programmes.
The Polytechnic is committed to producing competent and versatile graduates, who are also imbued with sound values, so that they can be work ready, life ready and world-ready. Among the network of more than 178,000 SP alumni are successful entrepreneurs, top executives in multinational and public-listed corporations, and well-known professionals across various industries and leaders in government.
SP is the first polytechnic to be awarded the President’s Award for the Environment in 2010 and the President's Social Service Award in 2011.
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