VolkerWessels is planting Tiny Forests in various places in the Netherlands: pieces of dense, native forest the size of a tennis court. For this we are working together with IVN Natuureducatie and Earthwatch Europe.
A Tiny Forest is not only a pleasant place for butterflies, birds, bees and small mammals, but also for people. Children learn about Dutch nature in the outdoor classroom and local residents meet in a pleasant and healthy place. The idea comes from experts in India and Japan and has been used in the Netherlands since 2015. Each Tiny Forest consists of about 1,200 trees and shrubs and contains as many as 30 to 40 different species.
Tiny Forests throughout the Netherlands
VolkerWessels, IVN Natuureducatie and Earthwatch Europe have entered into a collaboration to build Tiny Forests at various locations in the Netherlands in early 2023. VolkerWessels acts as sponsor, IVN Natuureducatie is responsible for the organization and Earthwatch Europe will monitor the growth of the forest together with volunteers. All preparatory work such as soil research, soil movement and the placement of seating elements will be carried out by VolkerWessels company Gebr. van Kessel (in Enschede by Farwick Groenspecialisten).
Daan Bleichrodt, Chief Tree Planting Officer, IVN Natuureducatie: "Due to urbanization, digitalization and our busy existence, the gap between people and nature is bigger than ever. A Tiny Forest in the neighborhood reduces that gap and also brings local residents closer together. In addition, a Tiny Forest stimulates biodiversity, the greenery provides additional water storage capacity, improves air quality and combats heat stress. Together with municipalities, schools and local residents, we have already realized 167 of these mini forests in the Netherlands. We are very proud that VolkerWessels is going to help us add even more nature to residential areas in the Netherlands in the near future."
Victor Beumer, Senior Research Lead at Earthwatch Europe: "That us humans need nature is clear, but how do we ensure that everyone understands and experiences the impact and effects of nature in the built environment? To demonstrate the power of Tiny Forest, we are going to use 'citizen science' (citizen research) to work with local residents and children to measure how the Tiny Forest in their neighborhood benefits local biodiversity, cooling, CO2 absorption and more."
At the time of writing, three Tiny Forests have already been constructed, with more locations to follow in the near future. This makes VolkerWessels currently the largest investor in Tiny Forests in the Netherlands.
#1: Stein (Limburg) - Jan. 26, 2023
Tiny Forest at child center Bonjour! in Stein
#2: Enschede (Overijssel) - Feb. 14, 2023
Tiny Forest at De Koning elementary school in Enschede
#3: Breda (Noord-Brabant) - March 1, 2023
Tiny Forest at elementary school De Tweesprong in Breda
#4: Warffum (March 9, 2023)
Tiny Forest at child center in Warffum
#5: Borger (March 10, 2023)
Tiny Forest at the Hunebed Center in Borger
#6: Venlo (March 15, 2023)
Tiny Forest at Maashof Park in Blerick