JNF: Enriching the quality of life in the Galilee

(AJNews) – In the spirit of this year’s JNF Tu Bi’Shevat theme “Planting with Love – Protecting the Environment,” JNF Edmonton Director Jay Cairns is focused on the renewal of the Segev Forest. The campaign is designed to help rejuvenate a beloved forest, improve quality of life for local communities and create a sustainable forest that will serve both people and wildlife now and in the future.

For over 70 years, the Segev Forest has served as a local green lung for residents of the Lower Galilee, enriching the quality of life and preserving the evergreen Galilee landscapes. JNF is planning to renew parts of the forests as part of the 2023 planting season; this renewal will ensure the forest’s wellbeing and durability so it can continue serving both people and wildlife.

Segev Forest, planted by JNF in the 1950s-1960s, serves as a green belt for over 15 various communities, Jewish, Arab and Bedouin, and provides them and visitors from all over Israel with recreation areas, cycling and walking trails and local historical and archaeological sites. It is also home to local flora and fauna unique to the Galilee, creating a diverse ecosystem and natural habitats.

Rosh Zayit, a fortress from the 10th century BC, and the Beza ruins, a village from the Hasmonean and Roman eras, can be found in the forest – a testament to the rich history of the Galilee that JNF has been a part of for over 120 years. JNF helped establish many of the Gush Segev communities during the 1970s-1980s, that today get to enjoy and benefit from the forest – adding to their quality of life and local scenery.

After completing special ecological surveys and evaluations in the Segev Forest, JNF found grazing and other damages that brought about the need to replant and renew the forest with more sustainable and compatible tree species.

Therefore, this winter (2023), JNF will renew acres of land while restoring tree orchards and ancient terraces.

For JNF – it means being part of the solution. Trees are efficient in capturing carbon dioxide, which is the main greenhouse gas harming our planet, and thus make a significant contribution to combatting global warming and climate change. By planting trees and expanding forests, JNF is strengthening Israel’s resilience to climate and environmental changes.

For more information on this year’s Edmonton Tu Bi’Shevat campaign as well as other JNF projects contact jay.cairns@jnf.ca or visit jnf.ca.

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