For this reason, we have recently sought the assistance of reputable companies such as Movares and Krinkels, who are experts in creating and maintaining green environments. Through specific actions, we have successfully enhanced the natural appearance and biodiversity of our campus.
An overview of our cleantech campus statistics:
It may be worthwhile to quantify the abundance of flora and fauna present on our green cleantech campus. After all, it's not something we think about every day, but we have over 25,000 square meters of grass spread across the campus. And as you drive past, you'll see more than 200 square meters of butterfly bushes and 7,500 square meters of hedgerows filled with dogwood, field maple, and roses. Moreover, our campus boasts a rich collection of over 125 trees, each with 15 birdhouses carefully placed throughout. It's quite a departure from the usual story we proudly tell about our impressive array of 18,000 solar panels.
The transformation of our pond
The pond at The Green Box is anoticeable centerpiece on the campus, covering an area of 9000 m2. However, it had become cloudy for a while due to too many whitefish stirring up the sediment at the bottom. The cloudy water hindered the growth of aquatic plants, which are essential for underwater life to thrive. To solve this problem, a considerable number of whitefish were safely caught using nets and moved to nearby waters. This operation was made possible thanks to the cooperation of a dedicated group of volunteers from Sportvisserij Oost Nederland.
The pond was surrounded by tall willow trees and an abundance of reeds. The willows were professionally trimmed and turned into stacked branches, which can now be seen between the loading area and the pond. These stacked branches serve as shelter for insects, small mammals, and birds.
The reeds have been mowed. Although it may have appeared as if the reeds were removed, nothing could be further from the truth. The reeds have already regrown in almost all shallow areas. They now provide tranquility for nesting birds and a shelter for the recently hatched chicks.
Once the breeding season is over and the chicks have become adults, the reeds will undergo another mowing. "We mow the reeds three times a year to improve water quality. Reeds absorb phosphate, and by mowing them, we purify the water in the pond. Therefore, it is a responsible choice to maintain the reeds along your pond," says Erik Wesselink from Krinkels.
The roof of The Green Box cleantech campus also contributes to the story of our pond. The implementation of a new rainwater management plan ensures that all the clean rainwater is directed into the pond. This helps maintain the water level, which is crucial for the well-being of birds, fish, insects, and even the campus businesses. Additionally, the pond serves as a safety measure, acting as a reserve for firefighting water during emergencies.
Thanks to these interventions, the water has become clear again, and within just one year, we have restored balance to our pond.
The breeding season is in full swing
The breeding season is in full swing not just at the pond, but throughout the entire campus. Our resident pair of oystercatchers, affectionately named "Karel and Karolien," have successfully hatched three eggs in the spacious enclosed courtyard. Despite the need for extra effort to find food, they have chosen the safety provided by the courtyard. Karel and Karolien take turns flying in worms from nearby areas to nourish their growing chicks. These little ones are growing rapidly and are nearly ready to take flight on their own.
Our smaller courtyards have also become popular nesting sites. A pair of ducks has been raising their offspring in these cozy spaces for several years. However, these courtyards lack sufficient food and water sources for the ducklings. To address this, KPI Maintenance (Klein Poelhuis) and Solmax have installed a special pool. Additionally, the kind-hearted folks from Solmax and Eaton generously provide the ducks with vegetables and specially formulated waterfowl food. These efforts ensure that the ducklings receive the best possible start and will soon be capable of making their own way to the pond.
"The ducks always spark interesting conversations with colleagues and foster new connections with other companies on the premises. In previous years, I received help from Klein Poelhuis and Eaton," said Amy from Solmax.
Moreover, the campus is home to breeding coots, lapwings, wood pigeons, and a swan couple with their young. The five duck nesting baskets already housed six moorhen eggs this spring. The grebe family, which successfully raised four chicks last year, is also back with a full nest.
Drop by to experience it for yourself!
We would like to extend a warm invitation from The Green Box for you to come and experience our campus firsthand. There's nothing quite like fresh air and a dose of vitamin D amidst your workday. Enjoy the abundance of flora and fauna that our cleantech campus has to offer.
Thanks to the efforts of Krinkels, we now have a meandering walking path that surrounds the pond. This addition not only enhances the beauty of the pond but also provides a serene spot to sit on one of the benches and enjoy the peacefulness of the water. During your lunch break, you can marvel at the array of waterfowl, butterflies, and dragonflies that call our pond home. Perhaps you'll even catch a glimpse of a carp or a graceful tern while relaxing at one of the picnic tables on the pier.
"Having a pond with a walking path, flower fields, and duck nesting baskets is not something you find everywhere. Most business parks tend to be simple and sterile. The Green Box serves as an inspiring example for other corporate campuses," shares horticulturist Erik Wesselink from Krinkels.