What an exciting two weekends it was! As part of the Love Our MacRitchie Forest movement, NUS Toddycats held a series of “Friends of the Forest” conservation booths at various public libraries around Singapore to raise awareness of our forest biodiversity. After the fun-filled weekend at Jurong Regional Library and Central Public Library on 2nd and 3rd September respectively (read more about it here!), one more booth was set up at Queenstown Public Library on 10th September.
At Queenstown Public Library, the day started off with a visit by members of the My Queenstown Heritage Trail group touring the library. A rapport was quickly built as everyone chipped in with stories of their own encounters with our forest wildlife. It certainly helped too that hornbill sightings are very common in Queenstown, making our hornbill specimen very popular with the visitors!
Along the way, the booth also received additional help from a young visitor, who offered to stay at the booth and share about the specimens on display. His knowledge on biodiversity and bubbly presentations about the specimens awed not only the visitors, but even the Toddycats volunteers on duty!
Overall, it has been extremely heartening to see so much interest and support for our local biodiversity, both from the children and the adults. All the volunteers were spurred on by the curious giggles and wide-eyed amazement of the children, and the earnest and inquisitive questions from the grown-ups – many of whom were hearing for the first time how close to nature we can get in Singapore. The sense of achievement everyone felt were matched only by the newfound hope that more people will now stand up for our natural heritage and lend our forests a voice, should there be future dilemmas between development and conservation.
Words cannot express the gratitude for everyone who dropped by the “Friends of the Forest” library booths over the past two weekends. For those who have been intrigued by the specimens on display, we encourage you to head outdoors and explore our forests, to experience its amazing biodiversity in real life. Hopefully, that will speak louder than any of us can, about the importance of protecting our forests.
Will you be a friend of the forest?