Shokeda Community Forest in the Western Negev 758x530.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
The residents of the near communities were very happy to enjoy the green forest landscape. Forest projects include the Neighbors Path, anemones recreation area, cycling paths, an amphitheater and an Ottoman water cistern and pool.
"KKL-JNF stood by the residents of the Western Negev during Operations Cast Lead and Protective Edge, and I can assure you that we will continue to work together with you to help make this region even more beautiful and prosperous." KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler was speaking on Monday, October 13, at the dedication ceremony of Shokeda Community Forest in the Western Negev where he was accompanied by KKL-JNF Southern Region Director Ami Uliel and Director of KKL-JNF southern forest and community department Hannah Bechar.
"The 4,000 dunams of Shokeda Forest were first planted by KKL-JNF in 1953," Stenzler continued, "and at the time, we didn’t realize that it would become a major attraction in the winter, when it is covered by a dazzling red carpet of anemones. As a community forest, its importance is its proximity to residential areas. Over 100 local residents came to the first forest planning meeting, which is an all-time KKL-JNF record. It demonstrates just how connected you are to the land."
As KKL-JNF Western Negev Forest and Community Coordinator Galit Buzaglo explained, the impetus for transforming Shokeda into a community forest came as a result of a request to commemorate the memory of Captain Yonatan Netanel, who fell in Operation Cast Lead. Forest projects include the Neighbors Path, which connects all the nearby communities to the anemones recreation area, cycling paths, an amphitheater that will eventually seat 250 people, and the restoration of an Ottoman water cistern and pool. As Captain Netanel's father said, "the forest will connect everyone together, whether they are religious or secular."
For further information, comments or permission please contact
KKL-JNF – Information and Internet Department