On the 12th of July, two fellow Jordanian student interns and I traveled with FoEME staff to the Sharhabil bin Hassan Eco-park in the northern part the Jordan Valley.
We headed out early in the morning; the sun was luminous against the azure sky. As we traversed the long road to the Ghor, I enjoyed looking at the scenic landscape, from the craggy hills to the oscillating wheat fields swaying with the direction of the wind. The beauty and variation of the view in front of me strengthened my belief that Jordan needs to continue protect its environmental wonders for future generations.
Upon arriving at the EcoPark, we were introduced to an EcoPark staff member, who gave us a tour. We were shown different water collectors and tanks which are used to recycle water and store it in two separate tanks, one for agricultural uses and the other for human use. There was also a third water tank designated for the local Bedouin community to use. Next, we were shown the compost area, where EcoPark staff members place decomposable organic debris (usually food material left by visitors) with water and soil in special containers. This mixture is left to compost until it is ready to be used as fertilizer in the park.
After being shown the basic ecological aspects of the SHE EcoPark, we were then introduced to the Eco-lodges where visitors can spend the night; our guide explained to us that the lodges were built to manage heat efficiently and that air-conditioning was available in all lodges for the comfort of guests. Our guide next showed us the toilets and informed us that the sewage from the bathrooms was later recycled and used for agricultural purposes in the local area. “Nothing goes to waste here in our park,” he proudly explained. Pondering this information, we said our good-byes to our guide and concluded our visit.
This trip was an eye-opener; our environment is an important national treasure that we have a responsibility to take care of. Also, the EcoPark is living proof of some of the great strides that Jordanians have taken in recent years towards interacting with their land in a sustainable fashion, balancing the needs of man with the needs of the earth.
This post was written by FoEME student intern Khaled Al Sharif. Khaled is 15 years old, and currently attends the New English School in Amman. For more information on the SHE EcoPark, please see jordanecopark.com for more details.