Exploring the Ilanot 758x530.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
One hundred people turned up to take part, including families, adults and children.
Every Friday, KKL-JNF invites the general public to participate in a guided tour of a different beauty spot somewhere in Israel. These tours
are free of charge, and are part of the aptly termed 'Free on Friday' series. These excursions are suitable for everyone: they last about three hours and combine excursions by private car with short stretches of walking. The visit to the Ilanot Botanical Garden
and the Vickar Observation Point proved especially popular, and all the available places were snapped up almost immediately.
Despite the rainy weather and fears of cancellations, all those who had signed up presented themselves at the appointed time. Among them was the Weiss family with their four daughters. “We go on every excursion that we can, and if it means missing school, then they miss school. What’s going on here is more important, they should see and experience as many things as possible,” said their mother Michal Weiss.
KKL-JNF guide Varda Assif welcomed the participants warmly at the Ilanot Forest Recreation Area in the heart of Israel’s Sharon region, and began the tour with an account of the history of the site, which was home to an arboretum (a tree acclimation center) in the early 1950s. The Ministry of Agriculture’s forest research division imported hundreds of different varieties of both woodland and garden trees and shrubs from all over the world in order to test their ability to acclimatize to conditions in Israel. Some seven hundred and fifty different varieties were tested, including 170 species of eucalyptus.
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