(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
Due to the heat wave in Israel during the recent Sukkot holiday, a somewhat smaller number of visitors, about 640,000 people, visited KKL-JNF's forests and parks throughout Israel. The heat made many families prefer sites with shade or water, while other families combined picnics with bicycling on one of the many bicycle trails prepared by KKL-JNF with help of its friends worldwide.
The unseasonable heat also meant that KKL-JNF foresters had to deal with a number of forest fires that broke out during the holiday. Some of the fires were caused by arson, while others were caused by the negligence of holiday vacationers. Most of the fires were small and were put out immediately, but during Simhat Torah afternoon, a large fire broke out in Nahal Kisalon in the Judean Mountains. The weather and difficult terrain caused 80 dunams of natural woodlands to be burned before the fire came under control, thanks to the efforts of KKL-JNF fire fighters, the Fire Department and two firefighting planes.
The sites most popular over the holiday, with the highest number of visitors, were Hula Lake Park, Beit Keshet Forest, Kiryat Ata Park and Ramot Menashe Park in the north; Ben Shemen Forest and Canada Park in the Central Region; and Hamalachim-Shachariya Park in the south.
Visitors enjoyed a variety of activities organized by KKL-JNF or toured
independently. They rode on bicycle trails, participated in special
activities on the subject of accessibility in Hula Lake Park, harvested
olives in the forest, hiked on foot or toured by car, and visited the
KKL-JNF pavilion at the Family Festival at Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv,
among others. We will be sharing some of these experiences with you in
KKL-JNF's Forest Hotline answered thousands of calls of holiday
vacationers, and KKL-JNF foresters were happy to report that the recent
trend of keeping the forests clean is still being maintained.
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