An educational trail is being completed in Masaryk's forest in Israel.

29. 5. 2022
The Masaryk Forest in Israel, planted by Czech settlers in 1930, will soon have an educational museum trail commemorating the work and life of the first Czechoslovak president, T.G. Masaryk and his son Jan. The condition of the forest itself requires additional care, in which experts and students from MENDELU, who returned from Israel a few days ago, also take part.

The trail was created in a similar way as the forest itself, with the financial support of the Czech Committee of the Jewish National Fund (NFF) through a collection organized in the Czech Republic. Visitors will be welcomed at the entrance to the museum gate. “The main path through the park is lined with memorial plaques commemorating the main milestones of Masaryk’s life associated with Israel, such as his journey through the Holy Land, which he made as the first European statesman,” says Jiří Volánek of the MENDELU Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology. The trail is closed by pillars with the names of the main Czech patrons. All the museum elements used are in harmony with the surrounding vegetation and in the landscape they have become a dignified reminder of both statesmen, their historical benefits for Israel and a symbolic gesture of gratitude for their fight against antisemitism. The official opening of the museum trail is scheduled for June.

MENDELU experts go to Israel to take care of Masaryk’s forest regularly. Until a few years ago, the forest was in poor condition. “There is a constant need to intervene in the forest of Aleppo pine in the stage of disintegration. Urgent work, including fire management, is carried out by the Jewish National Fund. The others are taken care of by our students, who this time aimed primarily at ensuring the safety and comfort of visitors to the pine grove. They removed fallen, sloping or dangerously suspended trees and cut dry branches not only near picnic sites,” said Volánek.

The students also modified the species composition of the forest, either by planting local tree species such as Mediterranean cypress or by making clearings, prunings and other modifications of young parts of the stand. “Every year, constantly invasive species, such as Ailanthus altissima and Acacia, need to be removed from the forest,” Volánek said.

Masaryk Forest is located in the northern part of Israel. It got its name from the first president of Czechoslovakia, who liked Israel and who played an irreplaceable role in supporting the emerging Jewish state. The planting of the forest, ie 13,000 Aleppo pine and cypress seedlings, was initiated in the 1930s by the settlers of the Sarid kibbutz from Czechoslovakia and Eastern Europe.

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