News - March 24, 2016

Atlas gets reminder of old Binnenveld

Roelof Kleis

The campus entrance from Mansholtlaan will become a wetland nature area with bluegrass-like plants as a reference to the Binnenveld as it would have been a century ago. Earthworks are scheduled for the coming weeks to prepare the area.

There have been plans for a while for a natural garden in the grounds between Mansholtlaan and Atlas. It all took off when Louise Fresco got involved. She read about the initiative of Patrick Jansen in the Resource Ecology group to restore the former bluegrass terrain in the Binnenveld and she wondered whether it would be possible to create such an area of grassland on campus as part of Wageningen UR’s centenary celebrations. One thing led to another: Pieter Boone at Alterra produced a design while the WICC fund put up the money—about 165,000 euros.

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Ecologist Wieger Wameling from Alterra drew up the planting plan. He says there will be two kinds of plants: ‘Grassland species for the damp areas such as the meadow thistle, the marsh marigold, the cuckoo flower, some orchids and the very rare native bog-star. The deeper and really marshy sections will get such species as sundew, bog asphodel and peat moss.’

There will be a bike path through the garden. Pedestrians will get their own boardwalk track taking them right through the marshiest part of the garden. There will also be a marshier section along the footbridge to Atlas. That means the bridge will finally have a purpose: keeping visitors’ feet dry.

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