Surrounded by Jerusalem’s hustle and bustle, Gazelle Valley is Israel’s first urban nature reserve. Named after a herd of about 30 wild gazelles, which roam freely throughout the park, it is an open space of 250 acres that serves all residents in this area, whether two-legged, four-legged, winged or pedestrian.
Athough destined to become another urban neighborhood full of busy streets and buildings, residents of the surrounding neighborhoods joined together to ask that it be left to mother nature. Together with environment protection organizations they built an alternate plan for the area which included natural terrain as well as a “green roof” over the entrance, several flowing river beds, wildflower meadows, a large lagoon, a walking path which borders the remains of an ancient orchard, a reconstructed orchard consisting of apple, plum and cherry trees, and a natural water purifying area used to purify the rainwater which flows into the valley from the city streets above.
This urban wonder is open to the public fall, winter, spring and summer and helps us remember that even in the city, nature is a powerful source of inspiration and wonder for us all.