On the outskirts of town out west, close to the border with Veldwezelt in Belgium, the Van de Vennepark North and South offer local residents an abundance in space and recreational areas. Of course the many dog owners are thrilled to have a playground for their beloved furry friends who can run and play off-leash. But children can also let their imagination run free, and especially enjoy the Amphitheater on the south side of the park.
Last February, the C.N.M.E., Stichting Centrum voor Natuur- en Milieu Educatie, the center for nature and environmental education, organized a workshop “braiding willow branches”, teaching parents and children how to make tree houses from branches. It was a great happening for those from the neighborhood who love to see their children play outside and learn from nature.
The amphitheater was built a couple of decades ago, but from the original theater little is left today. It remains the center piece of the park, though. The huge rocks all come from the other side of town, they were dug up when the city started to build the King Willem-Alexander tunnel. Before the park was officially named Van de Vennepark and given a major make-over, the grounds were ideal for what is now extinct entertainment. Whenever a circus came to town, the smaller ones, they set up shop in the park. Apart from dogs, the park has had elephants running all the way to the Dousberg, causing those living nearby to think an earthquake was happening!