Nieuws - 5 april 2012

A smartphone as guide in Belmonte

Who: Koen Verhoeff, chair of the Arboretum foundation, Wageningen
What? 10,000 alumni have been asked for a donation
Why? The proceeds will be used to expand and manage the Belmonte Arboretum collection

Wageningen UR is passing on the management so now alumni can save Belmonte?  
'No, but I have heard that response before. You can be negative about it and say that Wageningen UR is dumping the management on others. But you can also look at it positively: now other people get a chance to help with it. Wageningen UR still pays for some of the overall maintenance, anyway.'
What will the money be used for?
'Our foundation keeps the collection up to standard and makes it accessible to the public. A few specimens from our large collection of apple and pear trees are dead. There are also a number of American crab apples that we don't have. And we are going to make the collection accessible.'
Does that mean new signs?
'No, we'll do it digitally. There will be posts next to the trees with a QR code. Then you can access all the information on your smartphone.'

How much money do you expect to raise?
'Similar campaigns by the Wageningen University Fund raised almost 10,000 euros, I have been told. That is a good start. We need 40,000 euros a year.'