Halochem Park, in the Heruvit Forest, is the first park in Israel specially adapted to the needs of the disabled. There has been a growing demand by disabled and their families for an opportunity and venue for spending time out in the heart of nature. The grand opening marked the conclusion of Stage One and was timed to coincide with the height of the 50th Anniversary celebrations for the State of Israel.
A large number of parking facilities were built close to the picnic areas and tables, which like everything else in the park, were also adapted for the wheelchair bound. Inside the park, special gravel paths have been forged, making it possible to travel between the trees in vehicles or carts. Special washrooms and drinking fountains guarantee accessibility to even the most severely disabled.
Playground facilities are equipped to allow the disabled to actually climb up and join their kids in the fun. The facilities are adapted for all kinds of needs – the basketball courts have baskets at varying heights, and all playgrounds have facilities also suitable for the blind.
Stage Two completed in 2001, includes a special visitor’s centre where a history of the region is displayed and a large amphitheatre for entertainment purposes.
The site is particularly rich in archaeological discoveries, including finds dating back to the Philistines, as well as the ancient Biblical sites of Ekron and Tel Izeka.
Carefully planned paths afford easy access to these attractions, and a special hiking path for the blind, including taped explanations at different points along the way, has also been created.
A Wall of Honour recognizing donors is on prominent display in the Park.