The Hiriya is a 60 meter high mound of waste. It is the first sight, and smell, many tourists have upon entering Israel, being next to Ben Gurion Airport. Thankfully, the landfill is now closed, and the mound is being converted into the centerpiece of the new Ariel Sharon Park, set to be the largest new urban park built in the last century in the world. Bigger than Central Park in New York, the Ariel Sharon Park is currently open in a limited format, and will be opened in stages until its completion in 2020.

At present the walking and cycling trails, recreational pond, tiny zoo and picnic areas of the western section, Menachem Begin Park, are open, as well as a recycling center for which tours must be booked (for groups only +03-739663)

And for the future
The mega 2,000 acre park will be a green lung in the center of Israel’s densely populated Coastal Plain serving not only the residents of Tel Aviv, but also the many neighboring cities. A proposed 50,000 seat amphitheatre will make the park a venue for concerts on an international scale, whilst the views from the top of the mound, and the ‘inner lung’ which will be created featuring special plants and a lake, will create a site which is more than one of just leisure, but an ecological masterpiece.

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