History of the WAP
On the 13th of May 1972 the founding meeting took place of a ‘Plantenwerkgroep binnen de NBAT’ (Plant work group within the NBAT). From the original founders, only Aad Bouman and Co van der Velden are still active members. Joost Vlasblom, by then already at the age of 73, took the initiative and became chair for the first seven years. The official name was ‘Werkgroep Aquariumplanten’ (study group for aquarium plants) or WAP. Although the additive ‘within the NBAT’ was omitted, there has been a close cooperation with the NBAT ever since. Today the WAP is called ‘Werkgroep Aquatische Planten’ (study group for aquatic plants), with the same abbreviation, which shows our interest in marsh plants too.
Since its foundation in 1972 the aims of the WAP have been:
For a long time, the image of the WAP has been quite ‘scientific’: many Latin names and long, bone-dry minutes of the meetings. That has changed. Whenever a proper Dutch name exists for a plant species, it is used. The WAP-magazine still covers quite a few pages, the articles however have changed into easy-to-read, well-illustrated publications. Also many short notes or announcements are found in the magazine. Nevertheless, we appreciate it when people give us feed back and say the presentations are quite thorough, as we wish to stay a study group, which implies some thoroughness! We try to keep the WAP as accessible as possible: for everyone and for a decent price. Hence the annual contribution is only 26.40 euro.
Currently, the WAP has approx. 100 members. Some 40 members usually attend a meeting. This number is a comfortable number for any speaker, and still leaves space for questions and discussion. Many members are famous for their stunning ‘plant-aquaria’ and quite some of these aquaria belong to the best-rated aquaria at the national aquaria championships of the NBAT. Scientifically, the WAP has contributed. Some of its members are world specialist on aquatic plants and plat an important role in the scientific research ons ome plant genera including a.o. Cryptocoryne, Lagenandra, Anubias, Aponogeton and Echinodorus.
The WAP is a study group, which members remain actively involved for many years. Only a few members leave each year and many of the older members have been a member for a decade or longer. Over the past few years younger members have joined the WAP, some of them playing a active role in the study group today.