Passover preparations and Israeli children
being out of school on vacation all week,
plus the arrival of holiday visitors,
are keeping people very busy.
The 120 members of the 20th Israeli Knesset
were sworn in yesterday,
and then they all went on a month long recess.
There were two special ribbon cutting events
that I want to make sure you know about.
Sunday was the special launch of an
environmental program called the “Green Knesset.”
The dairy cafeteria inside the Knesset building has
large windows to let sun in to heat the room and floor,
and special shading to keep heat from sun out in summer.
But now the “Green Knesset” has added
special bins for recycling,
and at meetings water will no longer be served in bottles,
saving 60,000 plastic bottles per year.
Water, paper and electricity are to be conserved.
No more large mountains of paper for the budget,
as each member will get a disk on key instead.
Those responsible for the first stage of the
sustainability project gathered together on the Knesset roof.
Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein, smiling on the left side,
was the featured speaker
and was honored to cut the ribbon on the roof
in the middle of the 1,406 solar panel field.
The next day a very different green project was opened,
the Jerusalem, Israel, nature reserve – the Gazelle Park.
The area where gazelles had roamed free,
did not go to real estate developers,
but back to nature and the people.
On opening day, thousands of all ages attended,
walking nature trails,
and listening to stories near the restored Orchard site.
The water system is designed to sustain the plant and animal life.
In Israel, the end of winter means green grass,
dotted with colored wild flowers.
This was the only gazelle I saw on opening day,
but real ones are to have an area in which to roam free once again.
Mayor Nir Barkat was smiling and posing for photos,
and the ribbon was cut by First Lady Nechama Rivlin.
This Passover one does not have to drive or sit in car for hours to visit a park,
as the nature reserve is large, free to the public,
and open from 7:00 am to dark, 7 days a week.
Happy Spring Holiday.