SPNI Focuses on Urban Nature
SPNI’s Urban Nature Week opened on March 9, with 48 free activities held across Israel – organized by SPNI’s urban branches, eco-community centers, field schools and birding centers in close partnership with municipalities, regional councils and schools.
Over the course of a week over 15,000 Israelis came out to enjoy themselves and learn about the nature that coexists with them in their hometowns. Highlights included:
In Beer Sheva 2,400 3rd graders took part in tours of urban nature sites in the city. In addition the city’s recently completed urban nature survey, conducted over the last 4 years by SPNI experts, was officially presented at our annual local urban nature conference.
In Hadera, 2,000 members of the community enjoyed tours of local winter pools and learned how they contribute to preserving the biodiversity in their region. In Pardes Hanna 1,000 students from 10 different schools enjoyed their own activity day around the winter pools too.
In Ashdod, 2,000 people took part in events organized in conjunction with the Municipality to learn about the ecology of the sand dune park and other fragile local ecosystems.
In Haifa, 1,000 people marched to protest the Municipality’s revised plans to reduce the size of Kishon River Park by two thirds.
700 people took part in activities in Tel Aviv learning how to gather food from the wild and about the wildflowers blossoming around Tel HaShomer. 500 people enjoyed tours of Bible Hill in the middle of the city and took part in protests against development plans on Mt Heret in the Jerusalem forest.
500 people took part in activities at the agriculture farm in Kiryat-Shmona, there was also a seminar for education professionals and an urban nature photography competition.
SPNI view the nurturing of nature in urban areas as vitally important to the quality of life in Israel. As more than 90% of the population is already residing in cities, urban nature may be the best way they get to experience nature on a regular basis.
Under SPNI's encouragement and guidance, many municipalities have realized their significant role in incorporating and implementing nature conservation policies in the dense, urban area they govern. The public’s growing awareness and active support of urban nature cultivation encourages further adoption of sustainable planning practices.