Community Gardens Sprout in Israeli Desert Town
Noga zohar on community garden in beer sheva.
19 gardens are already established while an additional 4 groups are being formed
By Aya Tager
March 27th, 2013
In September 2012, the Israeli desert city of Beersheva became the second municipality in Israel to staff the newly created post of community gardens coordinator. The multidisciplinary position was born through fruitful cooperation between two of the city’s municipality departments – environmental and welfare, following a strategic process aimed at reinforcing local community and environmental elements while encouraging activism amongst the city’s residents. This move marks a significant shift in policy as the municipality re-defined its role over the issue of community gardens around the city.
While previously it served mainly as aid-provider to environmental organizations that initiated and operated the gardens, now the municipality controls and formulates communal gardens.
Beersheva Municipality encourages this sustainable activity using diverse resources, including conducting training programs, holding round-tables events involving the environmental organizations, and daily liaison with the local residences’ groups.
To learn more about the subject, I recently had a talk with Achikam Averbouch, who was appointed for the job of community gardens coordinator.
Averbouch, 31, specialized on ecology during his Geography master’s degree studies, and a former teacher, is highly passionate about the opportunity to promote community empowerment via sustainability.