Plant over the paving stones, restoring nature to schools in the Netherlands


The superhero of the playground!

In the Dutch town of Nijmegen, Ronald has become something of a playground superhero. Through good old-fashioned hard work and his unwavering green principles, he is tearing up concrete and replacing it with trees. A little more foliage, a lot more birdsong and oodles of smiles for pupils who have been given the opportunity to experience the joy of nature at school.

This is Ronald van Lohuizen’s peaceful, eco-friendly mission in life. Working for Weer Naar Buiten, he pours all his energy and that of his team of four into turning tarmacked playgrounds into luscious gardens. This gentle, green-fingered giant is delighted to be making children happier by stripping the concrete from school playgrounds. “Reintroducing trees and greenery makes the children happier,” Ronald confirms. “They’re more relaxed. Yes, they get grubbier, but there’s less fighting.” The ‘Plant over the paving stones!’ campaign in collaboration with the Yves Rocher Foundation has helped plant 6,000 trees and has already transformed six of the town’s schools.

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