Holy Land Postcard: Hula Valley Nature Reserve

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A visit to the Hula Valley Nature Reserve offers a different kind of Holy Land experience.

The featured image above shows numerous migratory birds who find refuge in the Hula Valley Nature Reserve. Photo courtesy of Gary Asperschlager.
A boardwalk allows visitors to walk out over the Hula lake. Blinds (shown here on the left) conceal visitors from the local wildlife. Photo courtesy of Gary Asperschlager.

A boardwalk allows visitors to walk out over the Hula Lake. Blinds (shown here on the left) conceal visitors from the local wildlife. Photo courtesy of Gary Asperschlager.

The Hula Valley is the site of a wide shallow marsh and lake fed by the Jordan River as it flows from its sources at the foot of Mount Hermon. When modern Israelis began to populate the Hula Valley, a serious problem was malaria infection, which was transmitted by the Anopheles mosquitoes that bred in the valley’s wetlands. War and conflicts delayed early plans to drain the swamp in order to make the land useful for agriculture, with the result that major drainage of the Hula Valley did not begin until the early 1950s. In hindsight that decision has been rethought as naturalists came to realize how important diverse ecosystems are to a healthy environment, and efforts were made to return at least some of the area to the natural ecosystem that was lost. The result of this effort is the Hula Valley Nature Reserve, which I visited on a recent trip to Israel.

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A visit to the Hula Valley Nature Reserve adds the enjoyment of observing the natural beauty of God’s creation to the usual pilgrim’s goal of experiencing the biblical geography of the Holy Land.


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Gary Asperschlager

Gary Asperschlager

Gary Asperschlager is a retired Salvation Army officer (pastor) who attended Princeton Theological Seminary after his calling to ministry. His childhood and undergraduate focus was on the sciences and thus he always enjoys opportunities to observe and learn about the world of nature, such as…
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