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Annual report 2020 and outlook

We’re going to say it again, even though we’ve said it plenty of times before… Last year was a special year! And no, it’s not because of the COVID crisis. To discover why check out our annual report and accompanying financial statements via this link.

 

For those of you who don’t feel like reading the full report, here is an overview of what it says: 

On January 1st, MKB Fonds Beheer became our new tenant. We bid farewell to Groengebied Amstelland, who had been our tenant and manager for 31 years. After their official departure, management was once again taken over by the head of the J.Ph.J.F. Lissone Foundation. MKB Fonds and the Lissone Foundation fell into their new place and roles surprisingly fast.

The ‘Friends of Wester-Amstel’ also began a new chapter. Our focus shifted further from indoors to outdoors. Opening the park and gardens to our visitors and maintaining them with the help of our volunteers forms the nucleus of our activities. Our park and gardens received a record number of visitors in 2020. And our volunteers spend more hours than ever on making our park and gardens even more alluring. They did respect all corona measures of course, which was actually why they loved to come even more! The summer brought a record heatwave, which was quite the blow after months of no significant rainfall. Luckily 'Maxima' (the water dipper) came to the rescue by pumping Amstel water into the ditches surrounding our park. Meanwhile, the house, gardens and park were further embellished.

Photo B. Admiral: Maxima ready for a dive

Once again the saying 'Wester-Amstel becomes more and more beautiful' was realised. It was a good year for Wester-Amstel and therefore for our foundation ‘Friends of Wester-Amstel’.

 

Our Plans for 2021 
In the Annual Report 2020 you will also find the planned activities for 2021. Of course, many of these are already in full swing. This is how we make Wester-Amstel even more attractive for you and our other visitors:

Photo J.Schepers: ‘21, 22, 23…’
  • The garden group has thoroughly renovated the rose-medaillon in front of the house. The ornamental garden is also being worked on. Both projects were made possible thanks to the garden proceeds from this past year.
  • The park group is working hard to replace the small bridge by the pond. The wet spring is causing some delays, but we hope the bridge will be operational at the beginning of the summer.
  • The publicity group is working on replacing and embellishing the estate’s signage, publishing a new Friends of Wester-Amstel brochure, and adding new functions to the website.
  • In addition, the board is working on the following items:

    • Planning a programme for indoor activities during the winter season (in cooperation with Stichting Beschermers Amstelland).
    • (Yes, you read the above correctly!) The Lissone Foundation will open up the space downstairs for public activities, once the planned renovations are finished. In the coming years there will be room for lectures, concerts, and other cultural events. The Lissone Foundation does need the expo to host paying events as well, which means we will not be hosting a full season of exhibitions, as we did in the past.
    • Organising special friends' activities and recruiting new friends. As soon as corona restrictions are lifted, we want to start organising special activities for our friends. As this is still in the works, you will be informed about this separately.
    • Further planning for the new Orangery building is taking place (in cooperation with the Lissone Foundation). The shed in the garden is on its last legs. Therefore the Orangery will have to replace the shed, offer space to our volunteers, and act as a reception area for our visitors and for meetings. This is a process that will take several years.
    • Fundraising activities - this year we will be raising funds for things like a new picnic table near the pond. To help make this a reality, we are coming up with an adoption plan for the new trees in the orchard lane.
    • But of course, everything doesn't happen by itself. Therefore we are working on recruiting great board members and volunteers for all of the items listed above. In our next newsletter we think we’ll be able to introduce two new board members to you! On a volunteer level we are still looking for reinforcements for a plethora of activities around the park and gardens.

    What are we not doing?

    • Unfortunately, but unavoidably, all of the large public events (e.g. Plant Exchange, Amstelland Day, and Open Monuments Day) will not take place this year due to corona. Fingers crossed for 2022!

    By: Søren Ludvig Movig