After a year's work, led by KKL-JNF and the Jerusalem Municipality and involving the public, we are excited to announce that the upgrade and accessibility works at the main recreation area in the forest have concluded. The works included making the area accessible for people with disabilities, installation of picnic tables and barbeque facilities, opening trails and building staircases as well as low terrace walls for sitting corners, building roadblocks, plating and installation of watering system and water taps. Unique signs will be installed along the trails in the near future.
The public can now enjoy a wide variety of community activities in the forest: flower tours, youth activities, birdwatching, carpentry workshops, art, photography, yoga, musical events and more.
The opening event was held on May 23, attended by Deputy Mayor and head of the Community Management and Environment Offices in Jerusalem Aryeh Kiing, and KKL-JNF's Central Region Manager Anat Gold. In the spirit of the coming Shavuot holiday, the ceremony included a baby parade, shows, basket creation workshop and more.
Photograph: Yossi Zamir, KKL-JNF Photo Archive
KKL-JNF for the Community
KKL-JNF has made it its goal to turn the forests near cities and towns into community forests. The guiding principal in a community forest is collaboration and joint responsibility for the forest on behalf of KKL-JNF, members of the community and the local municipality. This way, neglected spots become recreation centers
The community forest is of high importance as a green area within an urban environment, and as an environmental resource that improves the quality of life in its surrounding communities. Community forests are used for recreation, preservation of heritage, reduction of air pollution and social events.
The development of the Ramot- Mitzpeh Naftoah community forest is the result of a collaboration between the Jerusalem Municipality, KKL-JNF and the local residents. Varied community activities are held in the forest on a weekly basis, and it is in many ways a "second home" for the local population in which residents can rest, relax and travel. A group of forest trustees takes part in cleaning the forest and arranging community activities in the forest, as well as raising awareness for the important green asset near the residents' homes.
There are four community forests in Jerusalem: Har Nof, Ein Karem, Ramot- Mitzpeh Naftoah and a new forest at the northern part of the capital: Pisgat Ze'ev-Neve Yaakov.
KKL-JNF Chairwoman Ifat Ovadia-Luski: "As renowned Israeli songwriter Naomi Shemer wrote – An air as crystal clear as wine, and the scent of pine trees' in her song 'Jerusalem of Gold'. This week, in which we celebrate 56 years of the city's unification, we also have the honor of opening a community forest. The forest will give both air and green landscape, and serve as means to bring the community together. It is a perfect fit. Jerusalem is Israel's eternal capital and in KKL-JNF we will continue to invest and develop the city with a wide variety of activities, projects and forests, to make sure that the beloved city's light will keep shining."
The Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Leon: "The upgrade of the community forest is great news for the city's residents, who will get a new green spot for gatherings and community activities. The Jerusalem Municipality, with the collaboration of KKL-JNF, will keep developing and maintaining the green lungs in the city for the benefits of the city's residents and visitors."