In "Kfar Hayarok," the main environmental project is the preservation of endangered species and restoration of field margins. Our pupils learn about the nature and the environmental crisis. From their knowledge, we work to change for better the environment they live in. We collaborate with GAIA and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority on conserving a 30-acre (120 dunam) of area that contains two winter pound, orchards, and more. We have a refuge garden where we grow approximately 20 endangered plant species. Then our students reintroduce these protected species back to their original habitats. Our educational program encompasses 1,200 pupils from different backgrounds such as Israeli Jews and Arabs, New Immigrants and Foreign Students.
Endangered Plant Reintroduction
In the last 8 years we have planted hundreds of seedlings of endangered plant in conservation around the Sharon district. The work of planting and monitoring the plants is performed together with GAIA students. The support of GAIA made it possible to buy the equipment that can lead us to better understand the special niche that endangered species need.
Fire Ant Research
In the last two years, we have been collaborating with Tel Aviv University, GAIA, and the Authority of Conservation in this research project aimed at investigating and producing the best and least toxic protocol for the eradication of the invasive fire ant. The project already produced a mid-research paper and in mid-January one of our students lectured in the annual zoology conference about our findings throughout this research (youngest student ever that made a lecture in this academic conference). We believe that next year we will have an article in a scientific newspaper. The wide spread of GAIA-participating schools and their willingness to take part in the project will help to find and map places where the ant invade. This data is important to academia and the conservation authority in the effort to understand the dispersal dynamic of the invasive fire ant.
In the Kfar we have a shelter for tortoises that have grown in captivity and are not suitable for release into the wild. To investigate the ability to release tortoises in nature, the Kfar, GAIA, and the the Authority of Conservation will put a solar GPS transmitter on the tortoise and release it. Every week, the students will find the animal and monitor its physiological parameters. This project will be a case study for the release of hundreds of tortoises that live in captive condition.