LOSING OUR CAMPUS: THE RIFLE RANGE FOREST

It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform everyone that the Rifle Range Forest will be close from October onwards for renovation. We will quite possibly lose the Boulder Playground, Magic River and some of the forest area to the manicuring from National Park Board to make it more “user friendly” for park users. The renovation will last a year, re-opening earliest in the late 2019. September will be our last month at the old pristine Rifle Range Forest.

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This news has brought tears to my eyes, when I first heard about it. I consoled myself through an afternoon time alone in the woods. I was angry, that the same people who accuse us and our kids of disturbing the woods, through our forest school session, are the ones “constructing” and destroying the natural habitat of the forest through their manicuring. The rifle range forest has protected us for the past 3 years. She holds a very dear place in our heart. I wanted to do a campaign to stop them.

But upon reflecting about the bigger picture, as well as surveying the site that they have begun construction, I realize that they will not stop. And if I were to go about a campaign to fight them, I would probably be doing a lot of the work and effort by myself. In the end stressing out and killing my energy altogether, as I’m quite sensitive and emotional. So rather than be stubborn about it, I’ve decided to go with the flow of the land, country and people. We will focus on our children, communities and vision beyond the coming year.

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With the context and situation in mind, this is what we will be doing.

a) From 27 Aug to 16 Sep, we will recce Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (primary base), Bukit Batok Nature Park (secondary site1), Dairy Farm Nature Park (secondary site2), in both wet and dry condition. We will do safety, environmental and dynamic site assessments at the location. We will also create 3 locational directory (How to get there etc) for the 3 sites we chose for our contingency.

We will move the pick-up and drop off point to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, at the front of the Visitor Centre. It will begin in the first week of October.

b) We will invite regular Forest School parents to join us in the FS session in the last two weeks of September (17 Sep to 29 Sep) to enjoy the last remaining opportunity to play in the old pristine rifle range forest. (So parents, strap on your gears, and get ready to have some fun)

c) We will create a document to put out to the public and authority to show our stand in encouraging them to conserve the rifle range forest space as much as possible, in their process of renovation. (Hope everyone can help to share it around)

d) We will do some night sessions and campfire on my own, just to capture the last sight of this beautiful place and the rare fireflies that lives there. You can join me if you want.