Plans sprout for beach-side park in Ashdod

Ashdod city planners are currently completing plans for a new 200-dunam beach-side park in the Rova Daled area, reports The NIS 50 million Ashdod-Yam Park, which is slated for completion in 2012, is being planned to preserve the natural vegetation in the area while providing a number of special attractions and features for the public. According to the report, the park's planning committee, headed by Mayor Yehiel Lasri, toured Tel Aviv's Park Hayarkon and the municipal parks in Herzliya and Ra'anana recently, holding discussions with the mayors of those cities in an effort to obtain ideas for the project and to gain an understanding of the criteria for success in a park. At the end of the tour, the committee decided to include a lake similar in size to the one in Ra'anana's park and to re-examine parking arrangements in order to prevent traffic and parking problems around the new park. The report said the plans, which are now in the final stages of being drawn up, place the park opposite the beach and include a promenade for pedestrians and cyclists, observation points, a natural wooded area, large grassed stretches, a memorial garden, a disabled-accessible playground, a basketball court, a mini-golf course and a fitness equipment area, as well as a large amphitheater for public musical events with seating for 3,000 and with room for 5,000 more on the lawn. The plans also call for a 7,000-square-meter concrete-bottomed artificial lake, with the source of the water still to be decided. The report said that emphasis is being placed on preserving the natural flora and topography of the area. Lasri said the park would be one of the most advanced in Israel and would provide a significant improvement to the quality of life of residents. The report said work on the project, which is being managed by the Hofit municipal tourism company, is expected to begin in 2010 and to end in 2012.