(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
This special event took place on Tu B’Av, the Jewish festival of love, under the banner Bringing Love Back into Nature.
The beautiful green park around the Shafir Winter Pond provided an excellent venue for the ecological festival, which included crafts workshops using recycled and natural materials, fun with science, and games with KKL-JNF guides. While the children were enjoying the various activity stations and performances, their parents took part in composting workshops and learned about household water recycling. The atmosphere was further enlivened by a farmers’ market and a number of live performances including a green circus, stand-up comedy and a musical interlude with well-loved singer Shuli Rand. The activities were organized with the help of staff from KKL-JNF’s Southern Region.
“We’re glad to be part of this important enterprise and we’ll continue to work together to support this wonderful area,” said Gael Grunewald, Vice Chairman of KKL-JNF, at the ceremony held to mark the occasion. Shafir Regional Council Chairman Asher Abergil said that his council hoped to develop the festival into a tradition that would continue for many years. “The Holy One, Blessed Be He, commanded mankind to protect nature, the Land of Israel and land throughout the world,” he said. “We have to be judicious when we make use of nature, so that it can be conserved.”
The winter pond lies in the center of a verdant park that covers an area of some ten dunam (approx 2.5 acres). KKL-JNF has equipped the site with observation platforms, footpaths, seating areas, picnic spots and an amphitheater for events.
The path around the pond leads to a lookout point from which waterfowl and local wildlife can be observed in their natural habitat. This lookout is also used by the nearby school as an open classroom where pupils can watch wild animals and research the natural world.
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