Forest, Community, Society

The community forest has immense social importance. This is the infrastructure for entrepreneurship and for activity that gives added value to community life. KKL-JNF develops the infrastructure in the forest according to the needs defined by the residents and the local authority. In this way walking and running paths, bike paths, picnic sites, scenic lookouts, heritage sites, and touring sites are nurtured in community forests. Events and meetings without barriers in the natural surroundings of all members of the community take place in the community forest.

A network of community forests

As part of its activity for the environment and society, KKL-JNF has set itself a strategic objective – to advance a network of community forests nationwide and to turn the forests adjacent to communities into the forest's front yard and a source of pride. The guiding principle of this activity is full partnership with the residents of the community and the local authority in establishing and maintaining the forest. This creates identification of the residents with their living environment.
Public participation in the establishment of community forest. Photograph: Moshe Sheler

Active Community Forests:

Central Region

Northern Region

  • Nesher
  • Rosh Pina
  • Tiberias
  • Arrava
  • Afula

Southern Region

  • Kiryat Malakhi
  • Be'er Sheva
  • Meitar
  • Mitzpe Ramon
  • Eilat
Meitar Community Forest. Photograph: Oranit Ginat

Community Forest Trustees

Volunteering by community residents is a major component of the activity of the community forests. Many willing residents are prepared to contribute their time and energy to advancing the forest near their homes. They are "Community Forest Trustees". One member of the Forest Trustees usually coordinates the group's activity. According to surveys carried out by KKL-JNF about half of the residents of the communities in which there is a community forest are prepared to contribute their time to nurturing the forest. Among them are business owners near the forest who are aware of the advantage inherent in nurturing a green environment.

What do the Community Forest Trustees do?

The Community Forest Trustees promote community activities in the local community's fields of interest in varied fields such as culture, sport, education, and leisure and also guide the visitors to the forest on the subjects of botany, archeology, and the environment.

The trustees take part in carrying out surveys and documenting the life of the forest and they are partners to nurturing it. Guiding takes place voluntarily, mainly at weekends, during the flowering season, and in community events. Young volunteers, school students, join the adults and take part in guiding. The trustees can be identified on the ground by their "official" shirts that they wear during their activity.

KKL-JNF foresters enrich the volunteers with professional training and develop a package of training materials together with the volunteers. Once a year the trustees of several community forests go on a trip and team-building activity together in the KKL-JNF parks. The local authority advertises the activity of the volunteers on billboards and in local newspapers and sees this activity as a personal example of residents who take responsibility for improving the community's quality of life.

Community Forest Trustees ceremony. Photograph: Talila Lifshitz