Environment and Biodiversity
North Rhineland-Westphalia, Germany
4 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2008/05/27
« I have spent my entire life at Völlinghausen. I joined the brass band in 1985 and was elected to be the head of this association in 2001. The joint projects between associations bring us closer to one another: this enables us to integrate all the newcomers into the commune. As a little village off the beaten track, this is one of our strengths. »
Since 1996, the village of Völlinghausen, located in the heart of the Ruhr, has seen its population grow by 10%. It has a population of about 1250 today. This growth of a fairly small community happened very smoothly thanks to a very dense associative fabric. Nine associations in fact share the mission of welcoming the new inhabitants. There is a shooting club, a brass band, an orchestra, the games association, Catholic women, youth, firemen, the football club and the village chorale. Since 1970, aware of their vital social role, these various structures have joined together in the "Vereinsgemeinschaft Völlinghausen" (VGV), for the old boys of the association. This organisation enables them to undertake joint projects.
Cherry trees between the park and the village square
In 2008, this organisation undertook a new project. With the inhabitants, it wants to refurbish an old and somewhat faded leisure park, and the path that goes from this park to the traditional square where all the fêtes are held. This route was in fact bordered by tall poplars, which had become too old and had to be uprooted. By mutual agreement, the inhabitants of the village decided to replace them with an alley of cherry trees, to set up wooden benches underneath, and to facilitate access to this promenade for elderly persons. Subsequently, they plan to install an apiary in a reserved space.
VGV has requested the Veolia foundation to help it close its budget. The villagers actually put all their heart into the project - really lending a hand - to embellish their leisure park, but they lack the funds needed to buy the cherry saplings and the wherewithal to build the wooden benches