Man Made, Solar Powered Super-Trees Come To Singapore
This month Singapore will unveil a small forest of artificial trees up to 150 feet high.
The colossal, illuminated garden will be located in the Bay South gardens, which open to the public on June 29. The 'super-trees' are part of Gardens by the Bay a 250-acre landscaping project created by Singapore's National Parks Board to bring foreign plant and wildlife to their parks.
The man-made forest will include 18 super-trees in all, which act as vertical gardens, supporting other plant life. The super-trees also generate solar power, collect rainwater and act as air venting ducts. Only 11 of the 18 trees are equipped with solar photovoltaic system to convert sunlight into electricity, which will provide power for the park grounds below.
Each super-tree supports tropical flowers and ferns along its steel framework. The large metal canopies also work as temperature moderators, absorbing and releasing heat while providing shade for visitors down below.
Intrepid tourists can also walk atop the super-trees on 'skywalks,' which connect several of the highest ones.
At a preview event last Fall, Lee Kuan Yew, the country's first prime minister said the project will "showcase what we can do to bring the world of plants to all Singaporeans." He added that the park will be "the pride of Singapore," according to CNN.
The gardens also boast two green conservatories, the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome (a climate controlled building shaped like an orchid flower). Each conservatory is about the size of four football fields and will hold 220,000 plants from every continent on earth.
The Flower Dome is also a sustainable structure and takes horticultural waste and uses it to generate electricity in order to cool the conservatory.
Amazingly, the super-trees and conservatories only account for five percent of the cost of building the gardens. The rest of the park pays homage to the countries history and traditions. In heritage gardens visitors will explore Chinese, Malay, Indian and Colonial-themed exhibits and learn about the connections between these plants and Singapore. Surrounding plant exhibits the park will feature 103 acres of sprawling lakes and bridges.
The gigantic gardens will create a sharp contrast with the heavily urbaznied country, echoing the government's desire to transform Singapore in a "city in a garden."
Admission to the gardens will cost about $22 for tourists and $16 for citizens.
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