The Dutch for hazing (ontgroening) literally means ‘degreening’. Now students can experience a very Wageningen alternative: Regreening. Green-minded students learnt how to do even more for nature and the environment at the Ppauw eco-village on Wageningse Berg.
© Guido Bartels
In the past few weeks, 40 students were introduced to a variety of green initiatives in Wageningen during this Regreening. It was organized for the first time this year by the Green Active Network (GAN), the network for all the local nature and environmental organizations.
Instead of being ‘degreened’ in hazing rituals, the students are ‘regreened’. The focus is on sharing green ideas and formulating a common vision. All very different to the introductory period in a student society, says GAN coordinator Mirjam Turk, although they do have one thing in common. ‘We also wanted to cultivate a sense of community. And we certainly managed that.’
Participant Josua Münch, an International Land and Water Management Master’s student, looks back with pleasure at a week full of working together, swapping ideas and delicious food, courtesy of Foodsharing Wageningen. ‘From the start there was an open atmosphere. Everyone has similar interests and at the same time you can learn a lot from one another. I could level with everyone immediately. The Regreening worked better for me than the AID.’
The participants slept in tents for the duration of a four-day trip to Ppauw. They dug drainage ditches around the eco-village’s festival grounds and helped build a tiny house. Organizer Rose Akkermans said this killed two birds with one stone: ‘You can get a job done quickly with such a large group and it’s a nice way of getting to know one another.’ The programme included a ‘weed-dating’ session in the Ommuurde Tuin (an organic market garden in Renkum). Crouched in a large border, the students had dates lasting a few minutes while they weeded the entire bed.
View the photo series below.