Nieuws - 17 februari 2010

A frozen laugh in the botanical gardens

It's cold outside. The persistent winter holds me in its grip with chilly arms. The winter gives the world a pristine whiteness here or an unexpected vulnerability there.

Cars can't hold their own against the slippery surface, and trains fall into a trance. The result: traffic disruption. I do enjoy myself in the winter, though. From the snow in the forest which muffles loud noises. From the ice on which my skates scratch manifold lines, during the course of which I come across laughing people only. They're usually not like this.
During lunch break, I take a walk outside. Since I'm still working at De Dreijen, the botanical garden is just around the corner. Nice. A unique piece of nature where I sometimes find repose during hectic work schedules by strolling for half an hour among different types of trees. I see ducks gliding over the ice on the lakes and can't help smiling at these waggly skaters. But my laugh freezes in an instant, to think that this beautiful place in Wageningen may disappear in a few years' time. Unique nature transformed into a climate neutral estate. How eco can houses be if the Klein Arboretum has to be sacrificed for their existence?
My mind goes to the poll in the newspaper De Gelderlander. The majority (68 percent) of visitors to this area consider it 'very good' that the current plan for housing construction on De Dreijen has been shot down by the Wageningen city council. 'Don't put buildings in the Arboretum with its unique nature'. It's a pity that 14 percent of the visitors have indicated that 'it does not matter what the council does; the WUR is the owner and it will do what it wants to'. With this thought in my mind, I walk back to my WURk-place. Lunch break is over. Is my employer really going to prove the 14% right? This thought sends shivers down my spine. As if, while entering the Chemistry complex, I'm embraced by chilly arms