The first accessible nature area in Israel

 
 
Yuval Wagner and Tal Raban with Adar Stolero from

Access Israel has inaugurated an accessible nature area for people with disabilities. The location was developed with the assistance of Coca-Cola Israel, within the accessible picnic area project framework. 

The first location to be opened is at Afek National Park (near Rosh Ha’Ayin). The project included building special wheelchair accessible paths, disabled parking, adaptations for people with visual and walking disabilities and special benches. It also includes tables allowing full convenience for both wheelchair users and people with walking or visual disabilities. 

The project was implemented according to Access Israel’s recommendations by Shacham-Arica, a leading outdoor furniture firm.  

The Yarkon Afek National Park, which includes the Antipatrus Fortress, is one of the most popular picnic sites in Israel. Many people with disabilities visit the park thanks to the accessible paths allowing easier movement around the site. From now on, people with disabilities visiting the park can also enjoy the picnic areas which have been adapted to their needs. 

The Nature and Parks Authority, which has already adapted many of its sites for accessibility over the last few years, helped the success of the project. 

Tal Raban, VP Marketing at Coca-Cola Israel said, “150,000 people with severe disabilities live in Israel, but the existing infrastructure does not allow them to come with their families to most nature parks. We are delighted to open this unique project just before the upcoming Tu B’Shvat festival with traditional celebrations in nature locations. This unique project allows people with disabilities and their families to enjoy equal rights and avoid the disappointment for arriving at a non-accessible site. Over the last year, we are working to increase awareness and promote accessibility of leisure sites. A few months ago we became the first company to receive the Access Israel badge of Honor for the Active Park activities we held at Sukkot.” 

Eli Amitay, Chairperson of the Israeli Nature & National Parks Protection Authority said, “Over the last years we invested great efforts in bringing the public closed to nature, which includes people with disabilities. We congratulate Access Israel and Coca-Cola for their contribution to this important task. I’m sure that the accessible picnic area at Afek Park is only a predecessor to many others that will be constructed in the future for the benefit of people with disabilities in Israel.” 

The national nature and picnic area accessibility project is led by Access Israel which promotes accessibility in Israel allowing people with disabilities to integrate into society with equality, dignity and independence.  

Oren Less, manager of the nature and picnic area accessibility project at Access Israel said, “We congratulate Coca-Cola for being the first firm to assist in creating a nature area accessible to everyone – people with disabilities, elderly people, families with strollers and people with walking difficulties. I call other businesses to join Access Israel’s project and change the map of accessible nature areas in Israel. 

For more details contact Oren Less  

office@aisrael.org  or call him on +972-50--7777201. 

 

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