Celebrating Spring at KKL JNF Sites

Sunday, April 15, 2012 3:03 PM

A record number of people visited KKL JNF sites and forests over the Passover holiday, over two million in all, to celebrate the spring festival in natural surroundings.

The fair spring weather in most of Israel had hundreds of thousands of Israelis outdoors visiting and celebrating in KKL JNF sites and forests, on their own or by participating in events and outings organized by KKL JNF especially for the intermediate days of Passover.

Cycling in Adulam-France Park. Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive

Among the special events organized by KKL JNF were the 110 KKL JNF Nights, which included bicycle trips for families and expert cyclers with overnight camping. There were also outings in special parks such as Adulam- France Park, British Park, and Jabotinsky Park, and hikes on walking trails at sites developed by KKL JNF all over Israel with the support of its friends throughout the world, with facilities for picnics and recreation for all ages.
KKL JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler said he could not remember a more festive and active Passover as this one, “where we witnessed a 15% increase in the number of people celebrating spring outdoors.”
The most popular sites in Northern Israel were the scenic roads in Biriya Forest, Baram Forest, Daliyot Forest, Goren Park, Adamit Park, Kiryat Ata Forest, Ahihud Forest, Segev Forest and Hanita Forest. The Shaar Hacarmel and Hof Hacarmel recreation areas were packed every day of the holiday.
Mevo Hama Forest and Jordan Park were also packed throughout the holiday, from very early in the morning with thousands of daily visitors, who were there to see the spring migration of the birds.
In Central Israel, Ben Shemen Forest, the largest green lung in the Dan metropolitan area, was full of people throughout the Passover holiday. Tens of thousands of visitors also enjoyed Nahal Hashofet and Nahal Hazorea, Ramat Menashe Park in the Sharon, British Park, Canada-Ayalon Park and Hanasi Forest. There were also many visitors at KKL-JNF sites in the hills outside Jerusalem including Sataf, Aminadav Forest, the Nes Harim recreation areas, Begin Park, Bar Giora, Adulam-France Park and US Independence Park.
In Southern Israel, hundreds of thousands of people enjoyed the colorful spring wildflowers and the lush green landscapes, which are so fleeting in the region. The weather was just right for hikes and picnics before the onset of the summer heat.
KKL JNF foresters reported that visitors traffic was greatest in Malachim-Shahariya Forest, Golda Park, Yatir Forest, Lahav Forest, Arad Park, Dimona Park, Yeruham Park and the Haroa Recreation Area. Many cyclists visited the new bike routes that were recently opened in Timna Park—over 20 kilometers of bike paths developed with advanced technologies, including wooden paths and paths paved with local stone—a project undertaken with the help of contributions from friends of KKL JNF in Germany and the USA. Hundreds of bike riders were also seen daily in the Shikma, Be'eri and Besor regions. Many families went camping in the forests and enjoyed seeing the red poppies and the yellow wild mustard flowers.
Keeping nature clean and green, KKL JNF reinforced its sanitation services at sites, recreation areas and in forests throughout the holiday. KKL JNF teams distributed garbage bags to visitors, and people were careful not to litter in most places. KKL JNF workers collected 750 thousand tons of garbage from forests and recreation areas all over Israel.
Today, too, for the Mimouna celebration, KKL JNF is expecting hundreds of thousands of visitors in its recreation areas and forests, and, because of the hotter weather, KKL JNF has called upon the public to be extra careful about safety rules—making fires only in places where they are allowed, and making sure to completely extinguish coals afterwards.