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The Environmental Education Center

Botanical and Biblical Garden PDF Print E-mail

ImageThe EEC continues to cultivate the area surrounding the center into a Botanical Garden, where both native and foreign plants and trees grow. The botanical garden is meant to serve as a place of research and leisure, where visitors can find respite and learn more about native species. It is located on a site approximately 913m above sea-level, in a Mediterranean climate. The unique situation of this region, located between the Jordan Rift Valley and the Mediterranean Plain makes it a vibrant thoroughfare for diverse flora and fauna.

The botanical garden contains unique Mediterranean and Biblical trees such as the Palestinian Pistachio, Syrian Pear, Cyprus Pine, Carob, Spiny Hawthorn Tree, as well as many types of medical flora.

A special water treatment system has also been implemented, which naturally filters and renews waste-water from the local school. This clean water is then used to irrigate the trees and gardens. As surrounding Palestinian communities face increasing shortages of clean water on a regular basis, this experimental filtration technique is being developed for widespread use and adoption amongst the larger public.

The combination of the water treatment system and the ponds located within the Botanical Garden make it an attractive locale for local and migratory bird populations, and a veritable haven for multiple other animal species. This provides an exciting opportunity for continued research about these important species and the delicate balance of our native ecosystems.

Nature's Classroom:

ImageAn outdoor classroom is situated in the gardens, which provides a unique opportunity for students to learn about the environment in which they live. The EEC utilizes this classroom to help visitors engage with issues of eco-tourism, conservation, biodiversity, and sustainability. Guiding visitors of different ages through the Botanical and Biblical Garden to observe the unique flora and fauna that originated in Palestine enhances their knowledge of local ecosystems and helps them understand their own unique impact on these species.

Additionally, this classroom helps address the recreational and emotional rehabilitative needs of Palestinian youth who have been strongly affected by the violence of the Israeli military forces. There are few recreational escapes for Palestinians from the physical and mental hardships of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One of the main goals of this project is to provide Palestinian youth with mental and physical respite from the conflicts as well as to promote environmental awareness via early intervention.