Marianne van Lier & Willy Leufgen (Netherlands)
Marianne van Lier, biologist (Rotterdam, 1952) and Willy Leufgen , social pedagogue (Cologne, 1953). Together with others thy founded Stichting (=Foundation) Oase in 1993. This network organization wants to bring together all people that are involved in wild, natural gardening; amateurs and professionals. It started with a periodical (“Oase”, from 1991) and excursions to natural gardens inside and outside the Netherlands. In 1994, 1995 and 2001 three new networks were more or less organically born out of Stichting Oase, to know: Wilde Weelde (professional ecological gardeners, designers etc.), Vakgroep Heemtuinbeheer (professional and amateur garden managers); and Springzaad (mostly professionals engaged with play nature and green schoolyards, since 2014 an independent foundation). The under title of this movement runs as follows: More space for nature and children. In 2006 we took the initiative for a new 2 year long training meant for people who want to specialize themselves as ecological gardener (green schoolyards are a growing issue in the course). In 2016, after 6 successful editions in the Netherlands, a similar training was developed in Belgium together with our Flemish colleagues and started in march 2017.