History of the EcoPark

Last Minute Rescue

The Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark (SHE) was founded as a pilot project to finally end the pollution and neglect of the Ziglag Dam Lake and surrounding land in the Jordan River Valley.  Exploitation, overgrazing, and erosion had hurt the natural resources tremendously.  In the early 2000s, Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) mapped the area identifying environmental threats, and was given 11 hectares (110 dunums) of land by the Jordan Valley Authority.

In the hands of FoEME, this area in the north of the Jordan River Valley and part of the Tabket Fahel (Pella) community began to flourish. The success of the rehabilitation efforts led to more land grants, and the area of the park has grown substantially.  Since 2005, the area has been cleaned of garbage and protected from overgrazing by livestock by fencing.  These measures helped the land to begin to regenerate naturally.

In addition, FoEME staff, rangers from the Ministry of Agriculture, students, and members of the nearby communities, especially the Sheikh Hussein community, have planted thousands of trees in SHE.

The Jordan River Valley — a central location for people and nature

Attribution: Luca Winer, FoEME Staff Member

The view above the Dam, in spring.

The Jordan River Valley, home to the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark, is located in the Great African Rift Valley.  It includes the lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea, touches the Fertile Crescent, and it has long been believed to have been the birthplace of human activities from Africa, Asia, and Europe. From the top of the dam, you can see a wonderful view of the entire Jordan River Valley  and SHE.