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Bringing Israel’s Freshwater Streams Back to Life: KKL-JNF’s Sustainable Development Policy

Restoration Principles


The Social Principle

Freshwater streams play a central role in the shaping of the local identity and culture of entire regions. As such, KKL-JNF activities are intended to open up expanses along the streams to the public as a main artery of open spaces that enable urban dwellers unmediated contact with nature as a place of refuge from the urban environment. Consistent with this objective, the KKL-JNF shall assist in the establishment of parks along the banks of streams that run through urban areas in order to provide public space for leisure-time recreational pursuits.

Throughout the planning of stream restoration and the implementation of the master plan, the KKL-JNF shall consult proactively with local governments, public action groups, and even interested individuals regarding the well-being of the stream in question. This consultation will be done in order to adapt the rehabilitation plans to local visions and desires. In addition, the KKL-JNF will consult with experts in freshwater ecology.

Streams, like forests, belong to the people of Israel . Consistent with traditional policy that opens Israel ’s forests and other sites to the public for free, the KKL-JNF shall ensure that access to streams, including adjacent future recreational sites, shall bear no entry charge.

Hiking along rivers and streams has been a rejuvenating experience since ancient times, and apparently is imprinted in our collective consciousness. Stream restoration and the establishment of walking trails along them create new hiking routes in a crowded country where expansion of accessible recreation sites is sorely needed.

The KKL-JNF will adva nce the principle of contiguity in the recreational use of streams, i.e., along the streams, as far as possible, free public movement shall be upheld on both short and long routes, linear and circular, that serve the hiking public in all its forms, from “weekenders” to serious hikers. Concurrently, the KKL-JNF will act to build separate trails for the growing cycling population. In addition, along the streams, wheelchair-friendly sidewalks will be built, taking into account the slope in choosing the type of pavement.

The stream rehabilitation process represents a unique public relations and educational opportunity. Via the process, previously abstract messages can be made more tangible on the topics of basic hydro-ecology, abatement of environmental hazards and environmental ethics. The KKL-JNF shall integrate these messages into tours conducted for its supporters and in its ongoing educational and public relations activity. In this sphere, the importance of providing quality water to streams and the legitimacy of nature as a water consumer alongside agriculture, drinking water, and home use, will be emphasized.

The KKL-JNF will mobilize the members of its KKL-JNF Friends group, its youth group (“hugei siyur”), its Afforestation and Community Division, and its Education Department in the public campaign on behalf stream rehabilitation, to bring the public closer to Israel’s stream and to get involved in various restoration activities, including pollution prevention.

A considerable part of restoration activities and stream maintenance work can be performed by both public and private parties. As such the KKL-JNF shall mobilize the public to work on behalf of its streams. The KKL-JNF shall encourage the partnership of the public in the rehabilitation process and shall establish an Adopt-A-Stream program for schools, community centers, and of course other groups with a natural connection such as its youth movement and KKL-JNF Friends group.

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