A new Jordan river promenade invites groups and other visitors to go down the slopes to assemble, to contemplate and to pray. The promenade runs off the main Baptismal pools, capturing the beauty and the serenity of the flowing river and its banks.
While planning the promenade, our mission was to avoid artificial interferences and to encourage the revival and growth of wild plants which are the indigenous flora. This approach fits together with the ongoing ecological venture to restore natural life to the River.
One of the prominent plants of the Jordan Valley is the “Malu’ach” (literally: “Salty”). This Saltbush, which retains salt in its leaves, is mentioned in the Biblical book of Job :
“But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock (….) For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste. Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat.” (Job 40:1-4, KJV)
The “Malu’ach” plant is still used today at the authentic Arab-Palestinian rural cuisine. Fresh leaves are used for salads, while cooked leaves create a unique soup.
Another noteworthy plant is the Creeping Lippia, which has proven itself to be strong and beautiful. Its layers cover the ground with green foliage all year long. During spring and summer additional tiny flowers in pink and purple bloom, supplement the green leaves and create a truly blossoming vision.
At the northern corner, right across the gate, there lies the Olive grove, planted by major pastors, as a symbol of brotherhood and friendship of their congregations with Israel and Yardenit.