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Making the desert bloom
An ecologically-minded Tu Bishevat!
It might be cold and snowing in Ottawa, but in Israel the festival of trees—Tu Bishvat—is just around the corner. This year, JNF Canada is planting trees in the Negev desert, in the Mishmar HaNegev forest, northwest of Be’er Sheva.
The project includes preparing the land for planting, creating installations to collect runoff and planting native species in limans and on ridges. The variety of trees to be planted includes: acacia, mulberry, jujube, sycamore, carob and Atlantic pistacia.
JNF’s planting strategy helps the desert bloom in harmony
JNF plants trees utilizing a strategy known as savannization – planting to create a green environment that is appropriate for a desert and not according to North American or European standards. Savannization was developed by JNF as a tool to rehabilitate eroded soil, stabilizing the soil and preventing future erosion, thus allowing the desert to bloom. The result is a well-balanced desert with its unique flora and fauna.
Greening using ecologically-minded techniques
The first technique is to plant tree clusters in limans. Limans are a micro-catchment tool and collect water runoff from desert floods—thus, planting trees using rainwater is an extremely efficient and ecologically wise method. Second, trees are planted on ridges in low densities as terraces to prevent soil erosion. Trees are irrigated for three to four years until they become established and they are protected from grazing damage.
Why should you plant trees this year?
Yes, it’s a Mitzvah and for ONLY $18 per tree you will….
- Improve the landscape around Route 31 for travelers in cars and trains.
- Create a green belt around the village of Tarabin to benefit its Bedouin population.
- Mitigate erosion damage and clean up trash.
- Rehabilitate the land and create an ecological corridor along the Nahal Shmarya tributaries.