28 Jun 2010
Golf courses are well known for being as environmentally friendly as slaughter houses are to cows, thus discovering Keppel Club’s relationship with their adjacent mangrove came as somewhat of a surprise.
The mangrove swamp located next to the club, doesn’t just survive it thrives. And it’s all thanks to the club’s environmentally conscious practices. According to the National Parks Board, the Mangrove, Berlayer Creek, boasts an incredible amount of biodiversity, with no less than 151 different species of flora and fauna.
Mr Desmond Chua, Deputy General Manager(GM) of Keppel Club, explains that the conservation of the creek actually began as early as 2004 as part of an unofficial green movement by the golf course management, which snowballed into Keppel Club officially adopting the mangrove, which stretches out across an impressive 5.61 hectares of land, on 18th October 2006 under PUB’s “Friends of Water” programme.
Desmond emphasises the importance, of conserving, “the oldest salt water mangrove in the southern ridges of Singapore,” he added, “Berlayer Creek is over a 100 years old; it’s our responsibility to maintain a heritage site like this.”
Not to mention that mangroves are natural Tsunami shields. Seriously.
In order to ensure that the use and maintenance of the golf course doesn’t damage the surrounding environment, the GM have taken several steps to protect it.
Such as putting up barriers using recycled tree stumps from tree pruning, and putting up red sticks to mark the area in the mangrove as a “water hazard” to prevent golfers from wandering into the swamp.
Even potentially mangrove killing pesticides are used wisely and sparingly. Desmond has this to say, “Back in the day when I was interning at a golf course, if the manager saw a bunch of insects he’d tell the team to crack out the pesticides and spray away. Now we think twice about using them.”
They even go as far as using mechanical methods, such as spiking to aerate the soil of the golf course, in order to limit the need to use chemicals.
With such dedication and commitment to the environment displayed by Keppel Club’s staff, Berlayer Creek couldn’t be in better hands.
By Naveen K