The Southern Ridges is a lovely feature to have in the NUS backyard and I use it for the LSM1103 Biodiversity classes from NUS to Bukit Chandu over the Gap. That is a short walk of about 4km and I’ve encouraged students to walk to Harbour Front on their own, which is 8.5km away.
Last June, Catherine Chua at the University Health Centre had her staff ask me about introducing a nature element into walks for wellness, Having experienced my old MacRitchie – Bukit Timah briskwalk, she wanted to inject a nature element into their series of NUS Walks.
Since their target is the deskbound and mostly immobile office worker, I’ve suggested we try a series of walks over an increasing distance, which the Southern Ridges provide. It will be chance for camaraderie, sustainability, wellness, nature and some spatial awareness. And we have already have a few volunteers walk leaders on board from the Office of Environmental Sustainability (OES), Department of Biological Sciences (DBS), Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) and Ridge View Residential College (RVRC).
We need to recruit ambassadors to the programme, and top of the list is former Infantry Officer Seah Kar Heng who hikes all over the country, and NUS President Tan Chor Chuan who is regularly seen at Bukit Timah.
We will begin with the ~2km walk in campus next year and take it from there, slow and steady. Beyond the Southern Ridges, I am looking forward to returning to MacRitchie for the brisk walk to Bukit Timah one day, with the company of some fit NUS walkers!