Center for Creative Ecology

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Support our Eco Projects

Together We Can Achieve Much More

In a world where viable substitutes to fossil fuel are being obstructed for financial and corportate gains, adhering to eco values in a community like ours is becoming increasingly costly.

Indeed, we are committed and dedicated to the eco cause, but let's face it, dedication alone does and will not suffice. In short, our eco projects are in an urgent need for financial support, yours!

Kibbutz Lotan Center for Creative Ecology

The Center operates under the auspices of the Tzell Hatamar Non-profit Association. It is an experiential ecological education center that focuses on recycling, organic gardening, and alternative building as modern Jewish “Mitzvot” based in traditional Jewish texts and sources. Educational visits at our center can run from a 2-hour introductory tour, to a series of visits, to workshops of 1-3 days. Programming is done for groups from schools - kindergarten through high school ages and for families and adult groups, including senior citizens.

The center has three main educational aims:

  • To encourage programs’ participants to “think green” by increasing awareness of a variety of environmental issues through fun and experiential programming;
  • To empower participants to believe that their individual actions have meaning and consequence for the state of the environment, and in general;
  • To connect these issues to a modern, living Jewish and Zionist identity through the use of appropriate Jewish sources and texts.

Highlights at the Center include:

  • Noah’s Ark – a whimsical playground built of used tires, garbage and local earth;
  • Captain Compost and His Compost Educational Corner, splendid organic vegetable gardens and orchards;
  • The Living Dome – a geodesic dome covered in vine where guests are served organic herbal tea cooked in a solar oven ….. and more!
  • Birdwatching Park - Our partnerships with the Jewish National Fund, The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and Birding International will expand and develop our Birding Park to over 30 acres within the next several years. The park will be irrigated by recycled waste- water from the kibbutz dairy processed biologically by constructed wetlands.

Each of the following projects has different funding partners including the Ministry of the Environment, the Local Authorities, Kibbutz Lotan, other foundations and contributions.
Detailed programs and budgets will be submitted upon request.

Projects Seeking Support

I. Outreach Programming

Goal: To bring the creative ecology experience to disadvantaged groups in Israeli society, expanding existing work of our center in this field.

Summary: The Center for Creative Ecology and its gardens can provide empowering experiential encounters with nature and the environment for a wide range of youth and young adults. Groups enjoy workshops including hosting in our guest rooms, use of facilities and the creative ecology experience at highly subsidized rates.

Target Audiences:

a) We have hosted groups of troubled or marginalized youths including weekend programs for groups from the Center or North of the country or ongoing shorter visits for groups in Eilat and our region. Educational emphasis of such programming is to empower the youth to believe that their actions have meaning and influence on our world and to expose them to real life examples of working to implement dreams and values in reality.
b) We have hosted groups of children with special needs including youth with autism and CP. Educational emphasis is on the experiential – especially working with plants and/or building with earth – thereby enabling participants to feel a greater connection to nature through their senses.
c) In the summer of 2003, we were honored to host a pilot project summer camp for children who were victims of terror incidents. The children were hosted in our guest rooms, for meals and enjoyed the creative ecology experience. The educational goal of such programs is to give the children a release from tensions in the urban environment in Central and Northern Israel today. Lotan’s rural desert surroundings provide a calming influence and enable the children to enjoy the gardening and building activities in the Center for Creative Ecology. We hope to expand such programming, which has a healing and positive influence on the lives of child victims of terror.

Methods: program development; improvements on handicapped access and paths in center; marketing to bring relevant groups to center; staff preparation and training; transporting, hosting and programming for groups.

II. Environmental Service Corps

Goal: To impart practical ecological and sustainable development methods to young participants empowering them with tools to act in these fields.

Summary: Hands-on practical ecological program giving participants tools and useful knowledge in alternative building methods, composting, organic gardening and ecological planning for sustainable development and resource protection. This program has been extremely successful on Kibbutz Lotan and our creative ecology, Center for Creative Ecology with an average of 15 participants yearly. We are hoping to expand this number. Programming includes: practical work, theoretical lessons in environment, ecology and community, and experiential programming in the surrounding desert area.

Target Audiences: There are four target audiences for this program:

  • Israeli High School Graduates – a select group of 18-19 year old youth performing a year of service before entering the army.
  • Post-Army young adults – seeking to learn specific skills in these fields.
  • Young adults from Wadi El-Naam and other unrecognized Bedouin villages from the Negev.
  • Young adults from around the world looking for a unique and meaningful Israel experience while seeking to learn specific skills in these fields.

Methods: program development; marketing; hosting and programming for Corps volunteers.

III. Ecological Home

Goal: To demonstrate sustainable practices in a home setting in order to inspire and enable creative ecology participants to implement such practices in their own lives.

Summary: Development of a demonstration center of a home that conserves water and energy, reduces and reuses waste. The house will include a gray-water treatment, a composting toilet, an interactive display on energy conservation – lighting and insulation, a demonstration of proper waste reduction and disposal through composting, re-use and recycling. The house will be built using alternative building methods from natural and recycled materials appropriate for all regions and climates.

Target Audiences: All ages.

Methods: building and developing of the house including signage and educational displays; program development; marketing to relevant groups; staff training; program implementation - transporting, hosting, programming and evaluation of groups. .

IV. Sustainable Gardening for Town and City

Goal: To demonstrate sustainable gardening practices in order to inspire and enable creative ecology participants to plant vegetables and fruit trees in their personal gardens and communities or public gardens.

Summary: A creative integration of our magnificent organic gardens with interactive educational programming. The gardens are a direct continuation of the Ecological Home both educationally and physically.

Target Audiences: All creative ecology participants, age appropriate. Adult groups and families relate on a home-gardening level and educational and public institutions on a public gardening level.

Methods: planting and upkeep of organic vegetable gardens and orchards; continuing research into appropriate plants for desert organic gardening; programming and educational materials development, including signage; marketing to relevant groups; transporting, hosting, programming and evaluation of groups.

V. Community Building

Goal: To attract the local and regional community to participate in adobe building projects in the Center for Creative Ecology and Lotan’s Bird Reserve. The project aims to build the community through the building projects and strengthen community connection to the Center.

Summary: Alternative building method’s used are community-based methods. Professional preparation work precedes community volunteer hours in building with tires, straw bales, mud, etc. Building could include bird hides at the Reserve, seating at the Center for Creative Ecology, additions to creative ecology ’s whimsical playground, or a proposed Recycling Arts Gallery and Workshop.

Target Audiences: The community building will include participants of all ages. Family participation is encouraged with child-appropriate activities and tasks alongside their parents working. Members of the immediate Lotan community are the main target population as are members of the greater Southern Arava Regional Council area and Eilat.

Methods: preparation of building projects for participation by the general public; publicity; implementing and operating the afternoon activities and work for children and adults.

VI. My Kindergarten/ Class is Green

Goal: To introduce kindergarten and/or elementary school children to the idea and joy of composting and organic gardening.

Summary: The program starts with an introductory visit to creative ecology with an educational emphasis on gardening and compost aspects. The program continues with two in-class group activities on making compost and planting an organic garden and follow –up visits by our staff to ensure proper implementation of the compost and garden. The program is completed with a “harvest” visit to Center for Creative Ecology.

Target Audiences: Kindergartens and elementary schools in Eilat, the Southern Arava and/ or the Northern Arava Regions.

Methods: program and materials development; composters for each class provided; marketing to schools; pilot run of the program on a sample number of classes for feedback and improvements; full implementation of program at local schools.

VII. Educational Research and Development

Goal: To increase the educational impact of the Center for Creative Ecology.

Summary: There is an ever-increasing demand of Israeli schools and adult education facilities for educational programming at our center. We need to invest in the development of new programs to ensure a wider range of participants and return visits. Topics for new program development include: paper recycling; conservation and improving my home’s ecological footprint; composting and organic gardening; water use and re-use; bird migratory patterns and wildlife appreciation.

Target audiences: Each topic needs programming developed for the full age range (kindergarten through senior citizens). We plan to pilot the new programs, testing them on key groups and alter them in accord with the feedback.

Methods: program and educational materials development; marketing to key pilot test groups in various age ranges; staff training to run the new programs; feedback surveying and compiling; signage and educational displays for each topic.

Your contact person for all donation queries is Eliza -

Contact Lotan Center for Creative Ecology

Leah Zigmond
Tel: +972 8 6356811; +972 8 6356935; +972 54 9799024
Toll free (while in Israel): 1800 2000 75

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