NEW DIMONA LAKE NAMED FOR SHIMON PERES.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
The old park was upgraded and made accessible thanks to a donation from JNF Holland. It includes an impressive artificial lake surrounded by greenery, a large amphitheater, a science games garden and accessible playground equipment for special needs children.
The day began with a festive reception at the municipality building. “This is a historical day,” Dimona Mayor Benny Biton said to the members of the delegation. “Dimona is currently experiencing a period of amazing growth. Creating Ben Gurion Park changed the cultural atmosphere of the city, and we still have a lot of plans for the park’s continued development.”
Professor Moshe Kon, President of JNF Holland, recalled his visit to Dimona towards the end of the 1960s, when all he found there was a godforsaken and distant town. “Dimona changed and has become a green desert oasis, but it’s still surrounded by desert sand dunes,” Professor Kon said. “The lake project was undertaken with the goal of providing the local residents with a place for recreation and calm, and it looks like we were very successful. There could be nothing more fitting than to name the lake for Shimon Peres.”
The Shimon Peres Lake, which spreads out over an area of two and a half acres, includes a magnificent sound and light fountain, green landscaping on its banks, and a science games garden for enjoyable educational activities. The older trees, which were planted by KKL-JNF over fifty years ago, blend in beautifully with the park landscapes. The lake attracts many visitors and makes a positive contribution to the city’s economy. In the future, a surrounding tourist and restaurant center will be built.
Next to the lake is the accessible playground, which includes large, colorful sculptures that can be climbed on. The sculptures’ design was inspired by insects and animals, and they were adapted to the special needs of children with limitations. Paths go right up to the sculptures, and the passageways are wheelchair-friendly, with low fences that support people who have trouble walking. Coarse paving stones warn visually impaired people before curves in the paths.
“The lake and the park were built in a way that they would be accessible to everyone, something that was very important for my father,” said Professor Tzvia Walden, Shimon Peres’ daughter. “In the past, there was nothing here, just sand, sand and more sand, and it was here that Dimona grew. Since then, the city has become an amazing place, and it was always very close to my father’s heart. Israel is a place where you can see how people can make something out of nothing, and Dimona is a magnificent example of this.”
Watch video of the Shimon Peres dedication ceremony in Dimona