NIE Green Club

We are a group of nature enthusiasts from NIE whom have gathered to discover more about nature together. This blog is a record of events, activities and discoveries we've made.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


thanks (:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Nature Guide Training @ SBWR

It was a good Saturday morning of September 5th, we met at Kranji MRT by 9 AM.  This is due Kranji Express schedule and 925 does not stop near SBWR except on Sundays.

We visited the information centre before a briefing session by July.  We can always read the information in the centre to recall facts to share with the participants about SBWR.

Nature Guiding Tips Shared by July
- Inform participants of the safety rules.
- If they are not feeling well, they have to inform their guide.
- Participants are advised to drink lots of water during hot weather.
-They have to keep their voices low too, as the animals in SBWR are not used to having people around them. These animals would hide quickly when they sense something unfamiliar around them
- Participants must not touch anything unless their guide mentions that it is safe to touch the animal or plant.

We stopped at several spots along the Mangrove Boardwalk as July shared his knowledge of the mangrove ecosystem.
Excoecaria agallocha
One of the highlights of the day was a deciduous mangrove tree, Buta Buta, Blind your eyes. Its latex can blind your eyes if your eyes are in contact with it. The tree is used to make firewood, in making charcoal and carpentry work. 

We found lots of tree climbing crabs of all sizes and common nerites as it was high tide.

We found a spider camouflaged in one of the hut. Can you spot the spider?

After we made a round of the Mangrove Boardwalk, we walked towards the Main Hide. We found interesting flora and fauna along the way.

A beautiful coastal shrub, Memecylong caerulum, with blooming flowers of less than 2 cm in diameter.  Its ripened fruits contains purple coloured juice.

As we walked towards the bridge, we noticed a group of people took pictures of a green crested lizard. Can you spot the lizard in the picture?

We were treated to a spectacular view of the migratory birds such as Whimbrels and Little Egrets from the Main Hide.  We were lucky to see flocks of different migratory birds as they stopped for rest before continuing their long journey.  We were also fortunate to learn from a professional guide as he explained about the birds to his participants.

After spending some time at the Main Hide, we went home through Kranji Nature Trail.

Links for self - study
SBWR home page :
Online version of Sungei Buloh guide book :
Online version of Mangrove guide book in SG:
Quick guide to guiding (look out for the yellow box on the right):

Labels: , ,

Monday, August 31, 2009

Nature Guide Training @ Chek Jawa Wetlands

It was fair weather on 29th August. We were excited to embark on a new journey, being a nature guide. We took a bumboat ride to Pulau Ubin, then hopped on a van to Chek Jawa Wetlands.

Upon reaching Chek Jawa, we headed towards the visitors center to have a short briefing before going to house No. 1. Since we were early, we had a short rest at House No.1 and further briefing was given by July.

Information gathered at House No. 1

  • Nature guide training will be conducted on the last Saturday of the month.
  • We need to commit a minimum of 6 months in a year for nature guiding.
  • Training is such trainee guides will follow, observe and assist the guides during guided walks. After several sessions (about 3), trainee guides will be eased into guiding by being a co-guide during guided walks.
  • For each training session, trainee guides need to familiarize themselves with at least 3 flora/fauna found at Chek Jawa.
  • The purpose of this trip is to observe how Naked Hermit Crab (NHC) volunteers conduct nature guided walks along Chek Jawa boardwalk.
  • We were also informed to observe interactions between participants and nature guide.We are encouraged to be brave and interactive to share knowledge with a lot of people in a group.
  • For a pleasant guided walk experience, it is best to keep groups small and manageable. A group size of about 10 or less will be best.
After briefing, we went to visitors center to meet NHC volunteers. We were grouped into two groups, the photography group led by Ms Ria Tan (NHC), and a big group led by Ms Chay Hoon and Kok Sheng (NHC).

We took different paths to explore nature at the boardwalk.Please refer to the link to see the paths taken :

Nature guide guidelines shared by NHC volunteers

  • Assume that participants do not know the flora and fauna surrounds Chek Jawa. Therefore, we need to scaffold this knowledge for the participants.

  • Start the guide with safety rules (similar to SBWR training - see the above event coverage.

  • If we see anything that's interesting, we can highlight it and show to them.
  • We are to note 3 observations made for the day.
Some of the interesting things noted was,
The Bird post
Bird houses were setup along the coast for migratory birds to raise their young. We will know if the bird house is used if half of the entrance to the bird house is closed.

We can also share with participants that Pulau Sekudu is just across Chek Jawa. We can only see its top part due to high tide.

Kok Sheng shared his knowledge of the various types of habitat around Chek Jawa. At this stop, he shared about the vast inter - tidal area (in front of the boardwalk) which was covered by high tide.

We passed the rocky shore and was informed of how the rocks are shaped by the sea.

We stopped for a brief moment near the Sea Hibiscus flower and was lucky to see a blooming one. Chay Hoon shared with us that it will turned purple by evening. However, this depends on the weather for the day.

We searched for mud lobster crab which is a beautiful creature. We found out later that November (NHC), took a video of the mud lobster crab.

We saw lots of tiny crabs and they have electrifying colours. Kok Sheng excitedly looked out for a blue electrifying one. A point to note, these crabs are unlike eel, they do not have electricity in their bodies.

Can you spot a crab in this picture?

We passed the Jejawi Tower where we can see a vast area of Chek Jawa and birds.

After a few more stops, we made our way back to House no. 1 for a short rest and debrief before we head home.

We enjoyed our first nature guide training at Chek Jawa.
(The photography group with Ms Ria Tan )

A debrief by NHC followed by a reflection of our guided walk by NHC.

After we bade our goodbyes, we waited for the van to come.....

We had a meaningful learning journey and went home.
Resources for self - study :
Chek Jawa guidebook by Ria Tan and Alan Yeo (Can be found in NIE and NLB libraries)
Role of a nature guide:
Being a good guide:
Don't be a bad guide:

Labels: , ,

Friday, August 22, 2008

Endangered Animal Parade at NIE!

Event Coverage:

Today, 22 Aug 2008, setting off together with the runners from the NIE Director's Fun Run were the 'animals' from the first Endangered Animal Parade held in NIE.

The Endangered Animal Parade is an event where participants would either dress up as an endangered animal or showcase an endangered animal through the usage of props. The key thing was that the costumes and props must be made from recycled material.

Here are some of the participants getting ready for the flag off of the parade (picture below)
Participants came dressed as sea turtles, held props to showcase jellyfishes and sea snakes (picture below).
As this was a parade, people of all age joined us, including some toddlers (picture below).
Very soon, the parade got off in full swing and we started off by walking with the NIE campus buildings (pictures below).

This shows that you're never too old nor young to speak up for our endangered animals as they cannot speak our language (picture below).Here's a look at the shells of the sea turtles (picture below).We also took the chance to spread our messages around (picture below).Here's one of our messages of the day (picture below)."Turtles need jellyfish! Save our island habitats!"

Here's a group photo with the director of NIE, Prof Lee Sing Kong, to end the parade (picture below).Thank you to everyone who have participated in this parade and all the helpers (picture below) for making this event possible and successful! Side note:
We have to thank the weather too. This is because the rain held back until we crossed the finishing line. =)

Event Coverage by: July

Extra information:
a) All 7 species of sea turtles are known to be either endangered or threaten.
b) Read more about them from
c) Or


Monday, July 28, 2008

Ideas for Endangered Animal Parade

The Endangered Animal Parade is a parade where you can dress up as an endangered animal!
This parade was first advertised on our blog on 20 July 2008, here's the entry for it:

So for some people who might be interested but not sure what animal to dress up as and how to dress up, here are some slides which we have shared with some students in NIE, and now, here they are for you!

Our aims for this parade ( picture below)
Guidelines for dressing up (pictures below)

Some of you may be wondering. What animals in Singapore are endangered or threaten? Here are two examples. First, an animal found on the land (picture below).Second, an animal found in our waters (picture below).Well, as some of you may wonder. Do we have clownfishes in our waters? Yes, we do have them.
Read a blog entry by one of Singapore's nature volunteers on one trip to one of our shores where a clownfish was spotted (link below).

Back to the guidelines (pictures below).
Registration details (pictures below)Important Note:
Students from primary, secondary and JCs whom register through their schools, you enjoy a concession registration charge of $10 only! We hope these slides have inspired you to join us in this parade and create awareness for endangered animals.

So why wait if you are interested? Email for registration forms now!