On Wednesday, July 19, Workum unveiled Europe’s first biobased maze made entirely of hemp fibers. Hemp has been touted recently as a hardy and incredibly versatile plant that requires less water or pesticides in cultivation compared to other crops, such as wheat or cotton. For the record, hemp and marijuana may look and smell similarly, but these plants are not the same, and you won’t get high on hemp.
The grand opening of the innovative attraction was officiated by Henk de Boer, the alderman of the municipality of Súdwest-Fryslân. The labyrinth, constructed from hemp fibers, promises to become a space where visitors can immerse themselves in an interactive experience and learn about Fryslân’s progress toward a biobased economy in a fun and engaging manner. Within the maze’s sprawling expanse, visitors will discover how hemp plants grow, witness the creation of various biobased construction materials, and learn about the positive impact this remarkable plant has on soil and biodiversity.
An informative attraction
Spanning over three hectares, the biobased maze is the result of a collaborative effort between agrarian entrepreneur and campsite owner, Jan Pieter van der Plaats, and the local authorities. The new open-air venue is located at Slinkewei 8 in Workum.
Throughout the summer, the maze promises to be a fascinating and educational attraction, drawing in children, families, and tourists alike. Its unique design challenges visitors to navigate through towering hemp plants as they seek the exit, making it a thrilling and adventurous experience for all.
Toward a biobased economy
The establishment of the biobased maze is a testament to the collaborative efforts of GreenInclusive, Rabobank, the municipality of Leeuwarden, and the association Circulair Friesland. These organizations are working together to foster a local biobased economy, aiming to connect farmers, processors, builders, and the government to form strong biobased chains and pave the way toward a sustainable future. By joining forces, they aim to provide residents and visitors of Friesland with a glimpse of this innovative future through the creative and playful biobased maze.
Van der Plaats has made sustainable innovation a core piece of his business plans, seeking to attract both locals and tourists to explore the wonders of biobased materials and their potential impact on shaping a greener tomorrow.