Operation Steenbreek

Operation Steenbreek is intended to encourage the public to make their gardens greener, thereby improve the living environment in their community. Green gardens are healthier, reduce heat stress (more shade), absorb more water (less overflowing drains) and bring more nature into urban areas.


The goal of Operation Steenbreek is to inspire the public to transform their gardens into green gardens. The project will focus particularly on the negative consequences of paving over gardens, which destroys biodiversity and contributes to climate change. Paved-over gardens have less birds, insects and other animal life.

During heavy rainfall – that will only occur more frequently in the future – rainwater has to be carried off quickly to prevent flooding. This is a huge burden on the sewer system. Because 40% of the urban area is privately owned, people who convert their gardens into green gardens can make a real contribution to the urban living environment. 

The campaign is initially focussing on changing the public’s mindset.

Operation Steenbreek is a foundation and is funded by the participating municipalities (41 as of 1/9/2017). Wageningen Environmental Research is a member of the Operation Steenbreek working group and contributes research and advice to the project.

More information