A new bird-watching center is being added to the list of tourist attractions in Tel Aviv thanks to Jewish National Fund-Australia and in particular to major donors Mr. Mark San and Ms. Eva San.

In the presence of Keren Kayemet LeIsrael – Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) World Chairman Efi Stenzler, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Hudai and Australian Ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma, a cornerstone-laying ceremony was held last week for the new bird-watching center, which will be built in the Rosh Tzippor complex of beautiful Ganei Yehoshua (Joshua Gardens), located at the geographical point where the Ayalon and Yarkon Rivers meet.

Rosh Tzippor is Hebrew for “Bird Head,” and the complex was thus named due to its shape of a bird’s head, which can be seen from an aerial view.

KKL-JNF, which will operate the site, announced in a press release that the new bird observatory will “encourage educational activity that brings people closer to nature.”

KKL-JNF has “gained extensive experience in the field through its international bird-watching site, Lake Hula,” the organization said.

Furthermore, the bird-watching center “will be integrated [with]in a green park that is found in the heart of an urban area…. The site already includes a bike path, playgrounds, game facilities, picnic tables, and a beautiful observation hill.

“The bird observatory will be open and accessible to the general public without fencing, and allow a view of the waterfront…. A guidance center will open[ed], providing educational activities for children and residents, as well as tutorials regulated public tours.”

“Over the last decade, the municipality has led, in conjunction with the Yarkon River Authority, a move to revive the Yarkon River and the area around it,” Huldai stated. “The stream is now clean, fish are swimming in it, in its banks beautiful blossoms can be found, and the promenade alongside is one of the most popular sites in Israel. Today we are pleased to add another element to the landscape – a bird observatory center.”

According to the announcement, the center “is the result of a strategic decision that was agreed upon in KKL-JNF to develop the field, given the knowledge and experience KKL-JNF has gained over time.”

“Rehabilitation of the Yarkon River fits well in KKL-JNF’s work and activities for the environment,” Stenzler said. “We established the Hula valley, which is among the finest in the world, and the Ornithological Park in Eilat. And today, the bird observatory center [in Tel Aviv] will join them, adding 60 dunams [approximately 15 acres] with lake habitats, banks, winter puddles and the chirping of birds.”

Author: United with Israel Staff
Date: Dec. 22, 2013