To horticulturists, cycads are precious find, with a long fossil history dating back millions of years ago. They grow slowly and live very long – some for as long as 1000 years! There are two known naturally occurring cycad trees (Cycas edentata) on mainland Singapore. Both were found in Katong, presumably with a long history too, when our Katong was our waterfront.
So when the construction of Thomson Line required the removal of the two cycad trees at Katong, it sent alarm through NParks. We had two options. We took the harder option of trying to save the cycad trees and transplant them elsewhere. We found them a new home at the Coney Island Park. Many were sceptical that the transplant would be successful. But passion combined with scientific knowledge and skills brought about a successful outcome.
There is a now a little Katong in Coney Island Park. Besides the two cycad trees, we planted a cluster of Katong trees (Cynometra ramiflora) to mark this Little Katong in the Park. They are a symbol of passion and proficiency on the part of our NParks colleagues.