by Ria Tan
Reclamation at Chek Jawa was deferred on 14 Jan 2002, for ten years!
Priscilla the Pig is the only one taking the news lying down.
Ria shares some personal experiences during the period after deferment was announced.
The news that reclamation would be deferred was totally unexpected! Volunteers and friends celebrated the event with a toast to Chek Jawa on 1 Jan 02.
The sombre 'Remember Chek Jawa' buttons that were distributed to visitors before deferment was immediately changed to the joyful 'Chek Jawa is ALIVE!' button!
Chee Kong, among the volunteers who guided before deferment, expresses his joy on the orange cap that all volunteer guides wore during before deferment.
NParks took over responsibility for running the public walks, and the announcement to this effect was cheekily hung on an earth-mover parked near the shore.
The original volunteers of Chek Jawa readily took on the challenge of continuing the public walks. Not only conducting the walks but also providing training for new guides. Here N. Sivasothi is briefing NParks staff.
All the training was obviously old hat to Priscilla the Pig, who is not really paying attention. She already knew how to guide on Chek Jawa!
Training included field orientation, here conducted by Dr Chua Ee Kiam, for the first batch of volunteers trained under the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research.
With the overwhelming demand for walks, on-the-job training was instituted to speed up the development of trained guides. Fortunately, there was strong response from all walks of life and a new corp of volunteers soon ensured that the public could continue to experience Chek Jawa's marvels.
Alan Tan was one of the first new volunteers and is currently one of the lead trainers for the Ubin NParks Chek Jawa guides.Chek Jawa thrilled all visitors!
Zeehan Jaafar introduces Chek Jawa to the young...
... and the younger are also fascinated by Chek Jawa's natural treasures.
Deferment of reclamation 'expires' in Jan 2012. I hope the 10-year 'COE' on Chek Jawa will be renewed, so it can remain for our children and theirs!
You CAN make a difference for Chek Jawa!
Visit Chek Jawa: with the boardwalk now open, you can visit any tide (more on this in an upcoming feature).
Share and speak up: write about your trip and thoughts of Chek Jawa on your blog, encourage guides by writing to the organisation.
ACT: be a nature guide at Chek Jawa!
Lots more photos and stories of old Chek Jawa on wildsingapore flickr
The Chek Jawa webpage prior to deferment of reclamation: with details of efforts including public education, scientific work, checklists, websites, galleries, guestbook entries by visitors, proposals to the authorities.
by Ria Tan