News - September 23, 2010

A piece of Arboretum for everyone

Dozens of Wageningen residents are interested in jointly purchasing part of the Small Arboretum at De Dreijen. This emerged on Saturday 18 September at the Arboretum Viewing Day.

Loek Dijkman shares his plans with the Wageningen council
Initiator Fran Zegers calls it a successful campaign. About 75 interested people have put their names to a 'purchasing prospectus'. 'On top of that, I have had various emails from people from outside Wageningen.' Zegers is campaigning for the preservation of about two hectares of the Small Arboretum which fall outside the fence erected by the Depot art gallery. This is the part Wageningen UR wants to get rid of. Zegers has inquired with the university about the asking price. 'But I haven't had a reply yet.' Spokesman Simon Vink responds that the land is not for sale.
The initiative to make a bid for the land was taken after Wageningen UR prohibited Zegers and his fellow-protesters (including Platform De Dreijen) from carrying out maintenance work in the arboretum. Zegers wanted to replant 111 species that have vanished from the garden.
New life for the arboretum
 Behind the scenes, Wageningen UR is working on a new management structure for the Arboretum Belmonte. Former library director Dick van Zaane and Wageningen UR spokesman Simon Vink will publish a proposal at the end of the year. 'Our task is to come up with a management structure that will guarantee the upkeep of a high-quality garden', explains Van Zaane. Those being consulted include Geldersch Landschap, a nature conservation organization, Hotel De Wageningse Berg, the Rhododendron society and the new Wageningen Arboretum foundation.
Dijkman buys library
Het Depot foundation plans to buy the cubic library building on the Arboretumlaan. Chairman Loek Dijkman made this known on Monday 20 September when he was showing members of Wageningen town council around the Small Arboretum at De Dreijen. He intends to use the building as a centre for introducing primary school pupils to his two passionate interests: plants and art. A use that fits well with existing plans for the building known as the Banana and the Botanical Centre, which already belong to Utopa. The entire complex will become an education and extension centre on the themes of plants and art. This puts the whole of the eastern edge of the Small Arboretum in Dijkman's hands. The foundation also owns Hinkeloord, where Het Depot exhibits sculptures.