On Wednesday the 9th of October Tilburg has a world first. This is the first time that the Day of Pure Air will be organized. An initiative of visual artist Zeus Hoenderop in collaboration with ROC Tilburg and public transport company Arriva. The day is intended to draw attention to the importance of good air quality for a healthy planet and a healthy life. To sound the alarm in a positive way, on 9 October 112 students of ROC Tilburg planted 112 trees (referring to the national emergency number). A percentage of the trees is sponsored by Tuincentrum Groenrijk Tilburg. They will not be placed at a single location, but may be placed by the students in their own environment. Three trees will be placed at three special locations in Tilburg and Den Bosch. The program starts at 11:00 am at ROC Tilburg location Stappegoor. Jan Pieter Been, Regional Director Arriva Nederland and Fred van der Westerlaken, Chairman of the Executive Board of ROC Tilburg will be present.
Reinterpretation of sacred holiday
Creator Hoenderop: "The day is inspired by the ideas of the patron saint of Tilburg, Dionysius of Paris. Among other things, he can be called upon by people with lung diseases. If we now look at the lungs of the earth, how can we keep them healthy? To begin with, by having the adults of the future plant 112 trees and thus involve them in the importance of good air quality." The Tilburg artist shows with the Day of the Pure Air that 'forgotten' saints can be used in a contemporary way as ambassadors for current social issues. Hoenderop continues: "And we don't just invite 112 students. The Day of Pure Air is an appeal: join in, plant a tree and share it on social media with #day of pure air."
Partner Arriva is committed to sustainability
Public carrier Arriva is pleased with the cooperation with Hoenderop. Jan Pieter Been, regional director of Arriva Nederland, explains: "If you travel by public transport, that's already green. And with our buses and trains, we also pay attention to the environment. We are working on sustainability by driving more and more with zero-emission equipment and cleaning our buses with rainwater. In our view, however, we can do even more sustainably. By participating in this initiative, we are making our country greener and extracting CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. This action is also an extension of our cooperation with the Trees for All foundation. Our travelers can save 'trees' by making donations to the Samen voor Groen programme. Half of all donated trees are planted in the Netherlands. The other half is grown in the tropics, where trees absorb CO2 more quickly. On the 9th of October, 112 more trees will be planted as a result of this beautiful sustainable project. An initiative to be proud of!"
ROC Tilburg stresses the importance of youth participation
Fred van der Westerlaken, Chairman of the Executive Board of ROC Tilburg: "This initiative by Hoenderop is important to us because sustainability is a much-discussed theme for our school and our students. We all see the images on the Amazon news. But close to home, air quality is just as important." Van der Westerlaken continues: "Students are enthusiastic about the Day of Pure Air. The distribution of the trees is organised by the students themselves. And before 9 October, attention was already drawn to this subject in publicity campaigns set up by students."
Planting trees at three special locations
One of the 112 trees to be planted will be planted at the bus stop of the Elisabeth Hospital in Tilburg. In 's-Hertogenbosch a pear tree is planted in the butterfly garden of the provincial hospital. On behalf of the province of Noord-Brabant, Commissioner Anne-Marie Spierings is present to plant the tree, which is then blessed by Bishop Gerard de Korte of the diocese of 's-Hertogenbosch. A sweet chestnut tree is also planted in the Peerke Donders Park in Tilburg in collaboration with the Museum of Close Love. Prior to this Zeus Hoenderop leaves from the Goirkese church on foot with this tree to the park at 12:15 pm, dressed as Saint Dionysius of Paris. There the tree is blessed by Abbot Denis Hendrickx. Hoenderop: "Within the Day of the Pure Air I use visual elements from the church, but it does not originate from a Christian conviction. It is precisely aimed at connecting with everyone, regardless of culture or religion, because everyone breathes air. After all, air is life."
For more information about the Day of the Pure Air, visit https://zeushoenderop.com/dag-van-de-zuivere-lucht-9-oktober-2019/