Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Congratulations to our latest RRP grads Naomi and George!

Thanks to Head of Dover Campus for presenting the awards. Nice Streblus elongatus in the background -planted recently to show our brotherly love for our Tampines campus :)
After 3 plus years of superb learning and dedicated service to the Dover campus and the wider community, both sat for their Certificate in Tropical Forest Restoration Practice last week.

A three-hour practical and theory exam was the final assessment and both passed with distinction, despite having only just finished their (less important) IB exams and graduated from UWCSEA!

In an even more fitting end to their work here, both will join us for a planting session with Nparks' Friends of Trees at the new national gardens at Jurong Lakes on Saturday, an event organised by Naomi and that for the first time will be using trees raised in our own nurseries.

Thanks to Naomi & George for making us proud and best wishes for your exciting futures.

Applying theory to a reforestation scenario

Testing Tree I.D skills

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Grade 9 Geography Class Tour

On Friday, 3rd May, we had our first ever visit from a Grade 9 Geography class. They are currently learning about rainforest conservation and its adaptations and had the opportunity to discover these through hands-on activities. They learnt about drip-tips from our Hopea Ferrea and about the amazing nutritional properties of Moringa. It was a wonderful visit, and we look forward to hosting more tours in the near future!

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

RRP & RVRC sharing their learning for Forest Restoration

RRP’s strong partnership with the National University of Singapore and NParks is providing excellent opportunities for applied learning for UWCSEA students and exciting chances to share our work too.

Last weekend saw us participate in a Forest Restoration workshop kindly hosted by NParks at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve Headquarters. The workshop was the initiative of Dr. Chua Siew Chin, a lecturer at NUS’ Ridge View Residential College (RVRC), an experienced researcher and key advocate for tropical forest restoration here on the island. As well as developing learning modules for her RVRC students, Dr. Chua has also been kindly supervising one of our own members in their I.B Extended Essay research. The workshop was an opportunity to showcase this learning as well as develop more community engagement in this important work.

RRP’s Naomi presented her experimental study of the performance of rainforest seedlings in degraded soil from secondary forest sites known locally as ‘Adinandra belukar forest’ for the dominant species that has populated these abandoned agricultural plots. As much of the reforestation work in Singapore will be enriching these relatively species-poor, nutrient deficient sites, Naomi’s research contributes to much-needed knowledge about the best strategies for ensuring successful regeneration of primary forest species. We are hoping that her study might eventually be published in one of Singapore’s scientific journals.

Naomi shares her research from the Dover nursery
RVRC students showcased a wide variety of studies
RVRC students likewise presented the preliminary findings from their ongoing research on the reforestation site in Chestnut Park featured previously on this blog. It will be interesting to follow the progress of the plots that were subject to different treatments such as mulching, weeding and interspersed planting with leguminous (nitrogen-fixing) species.

Mr Zhou Boyi shows us Nparks' plans to engage the community
Alongside Dr. Chua, NParks Conservation Manager Zhou Boyi led a discussion on how the audience of educators and students could be involved in Singapore’s ambitious new Reforestation Plan that was introduced by Director of Conservation research, Dr. Adrian Loo. The 10 year plan will see over 250,000 native trees and shrubs planted mainly in the Nature Parks that act as buffer zones for the more biodiverse Central Catchment and Bukit Timah Nature Reserves. Developing more campus nurseries such as ours was seen as a key strategy to engage more young people, as well as provide the saplings necessary to meet this target. We were very happy to meet more interested schools at the event and invite them to UWC. Recent months have already seen visits from Dulwich international, Hwa Chong, Commonwealth Secondary and ACS(I) and more are planned.

Our big thanks to Dr. Chua for arranging this very successful sharing session and to Naomi for raising the profile of RRP in the academic community! 

Naomi's poster presentation summarised her Extended Essay Research
Dr Chua Siew Chin opens the discussion after an introduction to the primary forest in the reserve.
George, Hermann and Anthony contributed for RRP too.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

ACS Tour

On Friday, 22nd February, students from ACS came for a visit. Members of Rainforest Restoration Project showed them around the nursery and let them play the tree ID games. It was a bit challenging, but they were all very enthusiastic!

We also showed ACS students the techniques of potting up and watering seedlings, and we gave the longan seedlings they planted themselves as presents.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

New Season, New People, New Planting

On Thursday, 14th of March, we planted rainforest and fruit trees from our nursery in the yards of several residents in Woodleigh as part of our tree adoption program. This project follows the recent community outreach we introduced at the Earthfest event early this year at the Marina Barrage. The residents very kindly offered their support to take care of the species that we had nurtured.

We had planted a great variety of trees, which include:

Edible Fruit Trees:
      Triphasia trifolia

Endangered Rainforest Trees:
      Hopea helferi
      Hopea odorata
      Diospyros oblonga
      Cynometra cauliflora
      Shorea sumatrana

Local Common Trees:
      Peltophorum pterocarpum (Yellow flame)
      Syzygium grande

On the day, we met up with Dover with the trees between us and headed off to 7 properties. For 2 hours, we loosened soil, hacked away at roots, and after mulching the area plentifully to support the root development of the trees, we carefully transplanted our trees into the earth. It was refreshing to work alongside passionate members and residents, content that the saplings are now in their new, permanent home. As we waved goodbye to smiling, grateful families, we could feel the warmth of accomplishment beneath our fresh layer of mud.

The event was an excellent immersive learning experience for many of the new members in the Rainforest Restoration Project. The collaboration with the students from the Dover campus was an exciting activity for all of us. We would like to thank all of the generous residents of the estates that we planted in. We hope to work even more with others in the future.


By Jia Cheng Shen, Ran McClean, Ethan Lim