News - October 27, 2009

Professors' plea: retain botanical garden

About fifty professors of Wageningen University have appealed in writing to the Executive Board to retain the Klein Arboretum (small botanical garden) as a cultural and historical heritage. They protest against placing fences and building residential buildings on this terrain. Their letter reads:

To the Executive Board of Wageningen University
Subject: Kleine Arboretum
Dear sirs,
We have been taken aback by a published message saying that the Kleine Arboretum (next to the Dreijen) may have to make way for buildings. We are especially sorry to see that huge fences have been placed in this botanical garden, robbing it of its unity and accessibility.
We are aware that this botanical garden is no longer of direct scientific importance.   Nonetheless, we unanimously feel that this is a cultural and historical heritage and therefore deserves all due protection. A university has a duty also to cherish its history and preserve its most valuable assets for posterity. A university which holds the 'quality of life' in its core should not allow major facets in its own environment to disappear. This would not be in order for 'Wageningen'.
We therefore urge you to redefine another and a more lucid course of action concerning this botanical garden.
Yours regretfully,
Bas Arts,
Frans Bongers,
Arnold Bregt,
Adrie van den Brink
Paul van den Brink,
Lijbert Brussaard,
Henk Folmer,
Georg Frerks,
Ken Giller,
Francine Govers,
Bart Gremmen,
Wim Heijman,
Rolf Hoekstra,
Patricia Howard,
Ekko van Ierland,
Jozef Keulartz,
Herman van Keulen,
Maarten Koornneef,
Pim Kooij,
Edith Lammerts van Bueren,
Frans Leermakers,
Johan van Leeuwen,
Joop van Lenteren,
Gatze Lettinga,
Jack Leunissen,
Hans Lyklema,
Jos van der Maesen,
Jos Metz,
Dick Mevius,
Willem van Muiswinkel,
Anke Niehof,
Oene Oenema,
John van der Oost,
Joost Pennings,
Jan Douwe van der Ploeg,
Wim van der Putten,
Tjeerd Schaafsma,
Piet Stam,
Wya van Staveren,
Paul Struik,
Hans Tramper,
Jelle Vervloet,
Linden Vincent,
Leontien Visser,
Han Wiskerke,
Renger Witkamp,
Akke van der Zijpp,
Han Zuilhof.
[The undersigned are professors attached to Wageningen University.]