The Gazelle Vally,a new urban park,has opened in the heart of Jerusalem, representing an innovative urban approach to open spaces located in the heart of the city, something that cannot be found anywhere else in Israel
Boasting five ponds, two flowing streams and a natural habitat for wild gazelles, the park is open seven days a week and was funded by the Jerusalem Municipality and the Jerusalem Foundation.
The new park also includes bird and rodent watching areas, the natural habitat of wild animals and a man- made island accessed via wooden bridges, just minutes away from Jerusalem’s largest shopping mall, the soccer stadium and new basketball arena in the Malcha neighbourhood
The park is open seven days a week and offers guided tours,educational activities on topics of the environment and sustainability for school children, communal Friday evening Sabbath services and small chamber music concerts played by local ensembles
In addition, visitors can borrow binoculars, mats and deck chairs to enjoy the views, rent bikes for the bicycle paths or walk down the marked trails.
Ten years ago the park area was ear- marked to be developed into high-rise office and apartments.
However, in an unprecedented move, various segments of Jerusalem’s population united with the help of the Society for the Protection of Nature, as well as other environmental organisations and social activists, began a persistent fight against planning and zoning authorities to establish an urban nature park in the valley.