New columnist for E52: Mary Fiers


Door Bart Brouwers
Leestijd ± 3 minuten
  • 12 November 2017

We like to call E52 “the sneak preview of the future”. If we would want to achieve one thing, then it would be to offer the best possible description of our near future. Through all those people, companies and organizations who are working on solving today’s problems, we tell the story of tomorrow. Every single day. On Sunday morning this ambition is visible in a special way. Under the heading ‘Tomorrow is Good‘ we offer our space to a group of writers who consider it their daily task to literally make tomorrow a little bit better. Maarten Steinbuch, Tessie Hartjes, Carlo van de Weijer and Lucien Engelen have been doing so for over a year now. We are delighted that Mary Fiers joins them today; her expertise in the field of (among other things) nature development is a welcome addition.

Most of the Eindhoven people know Mary Fiers mainly as a former PvdA councilor. In 2013, she had to resign after problems due to a replacement project for caravan residents. “After my departure, it was quite frankly a little kickoff. I was councilor with all my heart. Suddenly stopping was not easy. A good friend said to me ‘every door that closes, opens up new doors’ and that turned out to be true. Looking back at that time it was mainly the resilience that dragged me through it.”

A year after her resignation, Fiers became director of the Green Development Fund Brabant, an organization that was founded to build no less than 10,000 hectares (20,000 football pitches) of new nature in Brabant by 2027. That step didn’t come as a complete surprise: “The love for nature was something my parents taught me at an early age. At home in Bladel, we played outside as much as we could, and my parents took us, my two brothers and me, into nature quite often. I think the seed has already been planted there.”

Thanks to her Twitter account, we can now follow Mary Fiers on her walks through nature. “Nature is everywhere. It’s just a matter of looking around you. Strolling around, I enjoy nature most consciously. For beautiful nature, you don’t have to go far at all. In and around Eindhoven there are truly beautiful and unique nature reserves. For example the Strabrechtse Heide or the Loonse and Drunense Duinen. The changes of the seasons are especially beautiful, like the tail of autumn we’re witnessing right now. All those beautiful colors”!

Precisely because Brabant is a densely populated area, it is important to help nature, says Fiers. “There is a lot of built-up area here, and intensive agriculture as well. Nature was and is often under pressure. It is therefore particularly important in Brabant to cherish nature. Nature is not a given. Awareness can start very nearby, “even in your own garden. Take a look at Natuur In Je Tuin or at Natuurpunt for some practical tips. But even if you don’t have a garden, you can do a lot.”

For example, via Fiers’ own organization, Green Development Fund Brabant. “These 10,000 hectares of new nature will not come about automatically. We achieve this together with many others! Everyone can join in. Maybe making new nature is something for you as well? A first step is to sign up for our newsletter, which already contains a lot of tips to help you to advance the development of nature in Brabant.”

For Fiers, these are logical steps to make Tomorrow Good. “Look around you to see the power, but also the vulnerability of nature. Improvement for tomorrow begins with consciousness today.”

Want to start reading Fiers’ views? Here’s the first contribution by Mary Fiers for E52.