19 Apr 2017, Clean & Green Week @ Hwa Chong Institution
Text by Nicole Han, Hwa Chong Institution (College)
Screen grabs by Kwan Hun, photos by Nicole Han and Isabelle Wang
For Hwa Chong Institution (College)’s annual Clean & Green Week, Ms Teresa Teo Guttensohn, co-founder of Cicada Tree Eco-Place, visited the school to give a sharing about environmental and nature conservation. The 40 minute talk was centred around the biodiversity present in Singapore and the various threats that it faces.
During the sharing, Ms Guttensohn provided extensive information about the variety of flora and fauna that Singapore houses today. A short film co-produced by Ms Guttensohn, an eco-artist, was also screened. ‘Unseen Undergrowth’, a local conservation film which captured the multitude of organisms that grow and thrive in MacRitchie Rainforest, was a crowd pleaser.
The film provided an insight into the sheer number of species that the MacRitchie Rainforest houses – the weaver ants, flatworms and fungus beetles were only some of the organisms featured in the film.
Still from “Unseen Undergrowth” – colourful paper-thin nymph. Footage by Kwan Hun.
The informative sharing also educated students about the extent of the environmental impact that the construction of the Cross Island MRT Line (CRL) may bring about. In addition to sharing about the harmful repercussions that may result from such development works on the regrowth and primary forest patches in the MacRitchie Rainforest, Ms Guttensohn also talked about how such an unfortunate situation could be avoided – by having the CRL go around the nature reserve instead.
The passionate environmentalist also introduced students to the “Love MacRitchie” website, where they could learn more about the rainforest, as well as the events and activities that various Singapore-based environmental groups provide (such as “Love MacRitchie” Walks by NUS Toddycats and Cicada Tree Eco-Place, which are guided nature walks provided free of charge to members of the public).
The sharing conducted by Ms Guttensohn was both educational and informative, as well as captivating, as evidenced by the enthusiastic responses by the members of the audience. As one student put it, the sharing was truly “both interesting and eye-opening”.
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To find our more and sign up for a Love MacRitchie Walk, visit https://lovemacritchie.wordpress.com/love-macritchie-walks.