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Johan de Koning, editor-in-chief of ‘Markant’ writes the following in an article in the August 2023 issue of the magazine: “Organizations in care for the disabled are also looking at the areas they own with a new eye. If you manage them in a more natural way, it can contribute to health from both clients and employees and, moreover, to biodiversity. Will there also be Green Care for the Handicapped in addition to Green Mental Health Care?
Treatment and sustainability go hand in hand

Rob Wolters was happy with the phone call he received from ‘s Heeren Loo. He is the executive of Nature For Health and programme leader of ‘Groene GGZ’ (translated: Green Mental Health Care in the Netherlands). Together with IVN Natuureducatie and his own organization, a group of mental health institutions has started a new initiative in which treatment and sustainability go hand in hand. The area covered by their areas together is larger than an average National Park.

Connect green vision to core values of the organization

And then organizations from the disabled care also called. “With ‘s Heeren Loo, we now want to create a green vision that is in line with the core values of the organization,” says Wolters. ‘This vision is aimed at people with an intellectual disability, the vitality of the employees and the connection with neighbourhoods. Moreover, it gives nature an impulse.’  Title of the project: Passion for people and green residential care parks.

Transferring experiences to others

‘I can well imagine that something like Green Handicapped Care will arise’, says Jan Peter Niezink, programme manager sustainable business at ‘s Heeren Loo, ‘but we have decided to do it within our own organization first. The challenge is big enough already. We do feel a responsibility to pass on our experiences to others later on.”

Niezink was the one who approached Nature For Health. Within ‘s Heeren Loo itself, he works together with advisor healthcare real estate Nienke van de Berg. She says that there are twelve residential care parks within the organization, with a total area of 450 hectares. The green management plans for these parks are not yet developed from a single vision. Current themes such as climate adaptation, sustainability and biodiversity are also not sufficiently included. ‘Then we wondered what our vision of the green actually is.’

For the rest of the article “In oprichting: De Groene Gehandicaptenzorg”, via

Photo: On the vegetable garden of Rohaan. Behind: Jolanda and Bart Braker. For: Edward van Nielen, Danny Nijhuis, Nigel de Jonge, Dirk Jan Wessels. Photo by Martine Sprangers

The copyright of the article belongs to Markant.