THE URBAN FOREST IN THE CITY


February 2021| 47 views

Beautifully lit green vistas adorn the city landscape on Scout Road that runs across from Galle Face Road along the Beira Lake. Creating an urban oasis, the Galle Face Urban Forest Park and Beira Lake Open Air Restaurant provide recreational spaces for people to relax and unwind within the city.

Words Udeshi Amarasinghe. | Photographs Menaka Aravinda.

The Galle Face Urban Forest Park and the Beira Lake Open Air Restaurant were built on the direction and guidance of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa with the target of creating a beautiful environment that encompasses a network of urban forest, water parks, and green infrastructure. This has been implemented according to the national policy framework, ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor’.

The Galle Face Urban Forest Park and Beira Lake Open Air Restaurant are located a short distance away from each other, where one could enjoy a delectable meal and stroll towards the forest park.

The Beira Lake Open Air Restaurant consists of food outlets within convertainers that offer a varied choice of food and beverages. Seating is under the stars and as day turns to evening, the lights switch-on creating a surreal atmosphere and views of Beira Lake creates a cooling feel. With trees planted sporadically, it will soon become a space to dine under lush greenery.

Facing the Galle Road and the ocean farther away, the Galle Face Urban Forest Park is lush and green with trees and foliage placed in sections presenting a neat and symmetrical appearance.

At the center lies a corridor made of red beams with surrounding water features that signifies the water park area of the urban forest.

Families with young children, fitness enthusiasts and those finishing work at the end of the day, all gather at the urban park to either engage in fitness activities or to simply enjoy the surroundings and unwind. The beautifully laid paths are ideal for walking and a mini workout space with machines have been installed for exercise.

As the sun recedes into the evening skyline, the lights are switched on simultaneously and the water show begins. The entire urban park takes on a magical appearance with mist filling the air and music playing in the back- ground. Lights and colors are alternated as the sound of water from the water feature fills the air.

The water show is indeed the first of its kind in Sri Lanka and thus, provides a unique entertainment while enjoying the peacefulness of the surroundings.

After a busy day, the Galle Face Urban Forest Park as well as the Beira Lake Open Air Restaurant provide spaces to chill-out and relax while enjoying the natural beauty, lush greenery and magical aura of the water show.

Water Show daily from 6.30pm onwards