Giving something back to nature: report from the World Clean up

Stray with sunshine, Photo: Thomas Hontelez

When the sun shines, the whole world is beautiful. The whole world? Well, at least it was perfect weather to ‘pick’ litter. About 50 volunteers cleaned up almost our entire route last Saturday during ‘World Clean-up Day‘.

Overall: Positive

Most of the route proved to be easy to clean. Volunteers reported relatively little junk. And a lot of positive reactions. How beautiful to see the face of a complete stranger light up when he sees you stinging. Regularly a spontaneous “thank you!” was heard. Moreover, the Walk of Wisdom volunteers were clearly not the only ones: elsewhere people also got to work with litter picks and garbage bags. In this way we inspire each other and tidying up becomes very normal. Now for the non-throw-away…


Is the whole route clean? On the Waal beaches, we were struck by human behaviour on the sun-drenched roof. No less than 125 kilos of waste were removed from here, plus 10 bicycles. A gigantic amount, of course – caused by the very nice weather that made the clean-up so enjoyable. It seems that mainly young visitors know how to find the Waal beaches in the evening and at night. Nickname for the beaches? “Costa del Waal”.

Kudos to the all-star team of Royal Haskoning BV: the huge gang was dealt with decisively and in good spirits.

A less attractive point – and we can mention this – is that beach visitors apparently smash a lot of glasses and bottles against lampposts. Drunk of course, but they probably were. That is why there was a lot of glass on the beach and it was left there. So don’t go for a walk barefoot…

Land of us

All in all, we look back on a beautiful, pleasant and useful day. Thank you to all volunteers!!

For us, this attention to nature is extra nice. We may be called ‘path of your own wisdom’, but our inspiration comes from a deep sense of belonging. Enjoy your time on earth and bring yourself to fruition – and take care of the habitat that enables you to do so. This is a – we might say – almost celebratory responsibility.

By the way, we still have money left over for nature projects on our route. From every donation for our starter pack , we set aside €1 for the landscape on our route: the landscape contribution. Suggestions? Mail [email protected].

Previous beneficiaries: Land van Ons (citizens’ cooperative that buys up agricultural land for biodiversity), Stevenskerk Nijmegen (our start and end point), Natuurmonumenten, Vereniging Nederlands Cultuurfonds, Gelders Landschap.

And next year we will of course participate in World-Clean up day again!