The SHE EcoPark prides itself on its sustainable innovation. Most of the management of the park, from water usage to local food to recycling, is conducted in an ecologically responsible manner.
To preserve the quality of our water, we ‘generate’ our water internally. We use a water treatment unit that turns surface water into quality drinking water. The reject water from the water treatment unit is used for irrigation of newly planted trees and shrubs in the EcoPark, and thus all water is conserved, and reused. Gray and black water are also treated and then used in the wetlands to recharge the ground water, and supply water to the turtle pond.
Likewise, we support local shepherds by pumping water for their own use in return for their cooperation in conserving the main water resources of the dam. Goat watering and similar practices adversely affect the quality of water in dams, and by pumping water to the shepherds off location, we create good neighborly relations, while also maintaining the pristine nature of our dam.
Lastly, besides using dam water, we have also set up rain harvesting canisters to reduce our dependence on irrigation. We only use drip irrigation, which is far more efficient and uses less water than traditional surface irrigation.
The comfort of our guests in the EcoPark is very important, and we strive to keep our facilities modern. We use energy saving devices through out our park, ranging from air conditioning and light bulbs to the water treatment unit itself. Most of our water flow systems are ‘gravity powered,’ reducing the need for outside energy expenditure. Additionally, we placed our eco-cabins in the shade, giving them good insulation to reduce heat transfer, and the need to use air conditioning.
We recently built 26 kilowatt ‘solar panel trackers’ which angle themselves towards the sun, moving with it during a 24 cycle.
Solar water heaters heat the shower water and other hot water needs in the park. We also have one solar stove-top in the picnic area for guests to use. It heats food much like a traditional stove, but uses the power of the sun to heat the metal bowl serving as the stove-top.
All organic waste produced on site is composted in our compost boxes. After guests leave, we clean the camping site and public areas, picking up broken branches and left over food scraps. This has the additional benefit of limiting the spread or origin of fires in the park.
We use old materials such as tires and glass bottles to make walls, art projects, and mud buildings. Seats are made out of tires, and composts and manures are produced and used in the EcoPark. Walking trails use local stones to minimize our carbon footprint, and all the wood used in picnic benches are locally grown.
We are in the process of building our own recycling plant in the park.
At the EcoPark, we try as much as possible to rely on locally grown food. The park produces local honey, and all of our fruits and vegetables are grown in the surrounding area.
You can’t be a good neighbor without being part of the community. Here at SHE, we employ people from the local community around the park. Many are of bedouin descent and have a generations-long relationship with the land. In addition, the park is frequently used by local families as a shady picnic retreat.