08/01/2011 04:27

High school students depart on week-long trip with Society for the Protection of Nature to raise awareness about forlorn state of the lake.

Dozens of high school students departed on a week-long trip with the Society for the Protection of Nature around Lake Kinneret on Sunday, to raise awareness about the forlorn state of the lake and to encourage water conservation, a spokesman for SPNI said in a statement.

The teenagers will hike along the Israel Trail under the leadership of SPNI’s Orienteering youth group, along with other teens from all over the country, and cover the entire circumference of Lake Kinneret, the statement said. The activities will include rowing on the lake, challenge adventures, campfires, sleeping under the stars and meeting with residents of the Galilee area.

“In the tour division of the Society for the Protection of Nature, we believe in the power of youth to change and contribute toward the improvement of nature in Israel,” said Eyal Meir, coordinator of the trip and of national operations in the SPNI tour division, in a statement. “We will embark on the journey in order to remind the public that it is our responsibility to be active and to raise public awareness about the subject of the water and the conservation of water and the need for preserving everyone’s Kinneret. Unfortunately, those who are currently enjoying the Kinneret will encounter a sad reality.”

Lake Kinneret today is a far cry from the one remembered by so many, and is currently in an “intolerable situation,” facing pollution, both legal and illegal over-pumping, closed beaches and fences preventing free passage, according to Meir.

“Approximately six years ago, the Society for the Protection of Nature initiated the establishment of a path around the Kinneret, a walking track that surrounds the entire lake and enables continuous hikes around the it,” Meir said. “These days, to our joy, after years of hard labor, the trail is in the process of being completed, at a length of 60 km.”