Volunteers had to get down an uneven, eroding slope to reach Kranji East mangrove last Saturday, during the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore. As they scrambled down the trash-strewn edge of the mangrove with varying ability, I thought of lost natural environments (and lack of adult supervision) which shaped the stability and locomotor abilities of children of the past.
The mild challenges of less sculpted environments and forest patches in my childhood helped shape my mind and outlook. And that prepared me for work on soft and undulating ground as we mapped our mangroves in the late 1980’s. Running between markers wasn’t necessary, it was pure joy.
Driven by their motivation to relieve the mangrove of its burden, Raffles Museum Toddycats, whom I observed throughout the morning, were game for greater difficulties. And they were careful too.
I think we have a core team to tackle Mandai mangrove next, carefully and sensitively, and move that trash out.