Director: Dr. Michal (Muky) Gross
The Botanical Garden at Oranim College was established in 1958. Fifty years later, in 2008, it was granted recognition by the Israel Department of Agriculture. Today, it is the only registered Botanical Garden in the North of Israel. The Botanical Garden is 10 acres in size, and contains 900 different plants, almost all non-cultivated and indigenous to Israel.
The Botanical Garden is a beautiful, serene place, centrally situated on campus. The legacy of Yehoshua Margolin, one of Israel's pioneering environmentalists and a co-founder of Oranim College, lies behind the garden. In Margolin's words: "Nature is explained in books; then one takes the book and returns to nature to learn firsthand." For Oranim College, a teaching institution, the Botanical Garden is a valuable resource, as well as a site of interdisciplinary cooperation. Today it is used for teaching, research, and environmental preservation.
The Botanical Garden is ecologically designed, and each section represents a geographic area or unique habitat in Israel. These include: Mediterranean oak forests; garigue and batha; wetlands; coastal areas; and desert and semi-arid areas. The garden displays different plant groups including: the seven species mentioned in the Bible; geophytes; succulents; pteridophytes; herbal and medicinal plants; and plants that attract butterflies.
In addition, there are two unique pedestrian paths in the garden:
1. The Poetry Path –a special trail with quotes from world-renowned poets displayed at marked intervals on signs integrated into the landscape. The poems about nature inspire the imagination.
2. Biomimetic Path – nine active stations, located near plants and/or animals, giving visitors the opportunity to stop, observe, get inspired by nature's beauty, and learn about sustainable solutions to everyday human problems.
The Botanical Garden beckons those who want a brief escape outdoors, couples who are looking to share a romantic moment in nature, and those who are simply curious –whether they live and work on campus, or are just visiting. It offers opportunities for research, multidisciplinary learning, and social activities. The garden serves the nearby community as well as the general public and is open to visitors six days a week, year round.