For many in Deurne, the Park Farm near Groot Kasteel has become indispensable, but ten years ago the area with the animals was in danger of disappearing. The city council’s opinion was that the costs were too high and that the deer park should be removed. As former Boerenbond manager Dick Croett and Tony Nouen, along with a group of people, have continued the park under their own management, Parkboerderij Deurne’s 10th anniversary can now be celebrated next weekend.
It’s time to celebrate on the grounds of Haageind where nowadays a large number of different animal species such as alpacas, Cameroon sheep, deer, goats, chickens, ducks, geese and swans reside. There is also a recently renovated bird cage featuring parrots, zebra sparrows, silver pheasants, and quail. “This cage has been renovated thanks to a major contribution from the Lions Club of Deurne. Antoine van Bars, Chairman of the Board, says the foundation is especially grateful for something.
Ten years ago, Crot and Nouen asked him to become the head of the foundation. Van Bars will remain involved in Parkboerderij, but will transfer the presidency from 1 October to Peter Kooter, who has also been active with the foundation from the very first moment. Kooter will officially open his renovated bird cage with councilman Helm Verhees on Saturday.
Retired chairman Antoine van Pars is pleased that the initiative was taken to keep the park under its own management when the municipality indicated that it could no longer afford the costs: “This led to the disbelief of many Deurne residents. After all, of the current generations in Deurne He did not grow up with a regular visit to the popularly called deer park.
According to Van Bars, the need for Park Farm is evident from the number of visitors: “After ten years, we can conclude that it was a brilliant idea. The animals that live there receive up to a few hundred visitors per day. Often parents and/or Grandparents with young children, students from schools, residents of nursing homes or simply people looking for a place to rest in our complex society. People with disabilities also come with guidance regularly.”
The pasture is managed by a large group of volunteers who take turns feeding the animals but also keep an eye on them. “Volunteers are mostly (former) agricultural professionals and have great knowledge of animals. The board of the foundation also has a lot of knowledge about animals,” explains Van Barr.
Since the organization also feels responsible for the immediate surroundings of the meadow, volunteer efforts do not stop immediately after the fence. “We also do work outside of that area which maintains the representation of the area.” According to Van Baars, the catering facility at Het Dinghuis is also a nice addition to all: “The on-site entourage is very well complemented by Het Dinghuis. From day one, it has been the perfect addition to the institution’s ‘castle domain’.”
The institution also pays great attention to education. In collaboration with Hub van Doornecollege, for example, the education boards at the Great Gate in Haageind have been created. The Foundation also supported the creation of the Klassenboeren project. Here school children get the opportunity to visit a number of agricultural companies and see what is being done on the farm.
From the beginning, the foundation has been supported in kind by Voergroep Zuid and Dierenartsenbedrijven ZuidOost in Deurne. Income is also generated through the adoption of animals by children or adults who, for example, do not have a place to keep a pet at home. They are regularly allowed out into the meadow on open days to visit their pets. The De Parkboerderij Foundation also sets up a nativity scene on the site each year and allows children to search for eggs in the meadow at Easter under supervision. In addition, there is income from spontaneous donations and the foundation receives an annual “mow fee” from the municipality of Deurne.
The new cage for Stichting De Parkboerderij in Haageind will be officially opened on Saturday 1 October at 10:00 am. Between 10:00 and 12:00, visitors are invited to view the renovated animal meadow and aviary and to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the foundation. All children who come to have a look are treated to a glass of drink.