What do we encourage?
Joint use of recreation facilities
In The Netherlands a new élan of garden societies is expressed by recreational and natural joint use. Recreational joint use means that besides the main user of a recreation facility other groups are also able the use the facility. In 2012 a research by the Agricultural University Wageningen was published showing that opening a garden site to the neighbourhood contributes to togetherness in the neighbourhood and to ecological, social and cultural strengthening. City councils are sensitive to initiatives that lead to a more efficient use of space and are pleasantly surprised when there is a welcoming atmosphere on a garden site. A mix of facilities that does not affect the character of the allotments provides a welcome improvement of quality of the garden site and of the social embedding of the association in the neighbourhood.
For years allotment gardeners are open for natural gardening and have become a trendsetter in this field. With natural joint use an association protects and develops nature on its garden site and inspires the neighbourhood by giving information and providing education and by setting the good example.
An important project to make this possible is our "National Quality Mark Natural Gardening" which was introduced by us in 1996. During a period of two years an allotment association is advised and supervised in order to encourage, where possible, the nature development on their allotment areas. Depending on the end result after two years of hard work an association receives 1 to 4 on a ladybird.
In 2016 42 allotment associations have been awarded a quality mark. 3 associations are half way to achieve one and 3 will start the project to achieve one.
In our Activity Centre for Garden and Nature the AVVN-office is located. Here we develop our information means, among which our magazine De Tuinliefhebber and our websites with exclusive member login and organize workshops and courses on gardening and on managing a association.