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‘Bûûmparks’ bring much-needed green space to Schaerbeek

18:14 07/08/2020

Little parks are popping up in a Schaerbeek street, courtesy of the Bûûmplanters organisation. Made with discarded materials, the wooden structures include benches for neighbourhood residents to sit a spell.

Dubbed Bûûmparks (bûûm is Brussels dialect for ‘tree’), the idea is to inject a little green space into urban areas sorely in need of them. Each Bûûmpark is the size of one parking spot. The first four test gardens are all in Rue Camille Simoens.

“There’s plenty of space here in the street for an initiative like this,” says Bûûmplanters founder Yoeri Bellemans, “and the residents are very enthusiastic. I think that if everyone thinks constructively, a whole lot of projects could pop up in the region in the coming years.”

Stamp of approval

Unlike the garden that was established in front of a Schaerbeek driveway last spring, the Bûûmparks have the blessing of the municipality and of Brussels Mobility. The structures were approved as part of Bruxelles en vacances, a call for projects by the capital-region that lend themselves to a more liveable community. (The rogue garden on Rue Godefroid Devreese, by the way, has also been officially approved by the region.)

Three more Bûûmparks are on the way next week. All are safe until the end of September, but what will happen after that is unclear.

And if the name Bûûmplanters rings a bell, you might have heard of their Christmas tree initiative earlier this year. Experts in reclaiming and replanting green refuse, the organisation offered to care for residents’ Christmas trees that were planted in pots, and return them the next Christmas.

Photo: The kids of Rue Camille Simoens helped build the Bûûmparks and certainly know how to use them

Written by Lisa Bradshaw