Sunday, July 10, 2011


ROTEM is a center for "Research, Education, Documentation and Conservation of the wild Plants of Israel",  with one of their purposes being "teaching ecological botany to the public, and identifying wild plants to nature lovers." It is a "Joint Project of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel."

One of their many tasks is organizing hikes to many different areas of the country in all seasons, to find and identify flowers and plants. If the bus is not totally occupied by their members and places are still available guests are welcome, and my husband loves to accompany them at their outings.

Israels flora is very dear to their heart and they are immensely protective of it. They are all hunters for beautiful, good and meaningful photos, and everyone is equipped with either a modest or more sophisticated camera. All but one of them! He too loves the flowers and adores them, but he pictures them only in his mind. He hunts for something else. He is a serious collector. He cares very much for our environment. He likes to give his share, however small, to improve it. He has his utensils too. They are big plastic sacks. Yes, he picks up the garbage! He fills them with whatever people carelessly throw away, forget, let fall down, leave behind. Stuff that does not belong in nature. Waste! Bottles, papers, plastics, boxes, soda cans, leftover picnic food, ugly ugly stuff! Smelling stuff! Rotten stuff! Rubbish! Refuse!
Oh no, I do not think his doings are drops on a hot stone! No, I don't think he is an oddball! 
I think his actions are most admirable and surely worth of emulation. 
He makes the difference we are always talking about. 
He reminds us of something very important, of taking in earnest responsibility, of not only loving nature and enjoying it, but of caring for it too, of keeping it clean and beautiful!

His name is Ron Milo. 

My husband photographed him on their last hike some days ago and when I asked Ron about permission to write about him and use this picture in a blog post, he sent me some more and wrote me this message:

"My dream is that there will be a website where people can sign up to adopt a 'ta shetach' (a small plot) of Israel, which they like or walk frequently, and they will then become its stewards and take care of cleaning it. This could then involve also schools, youth movements etc. With social networks, digital images and all the other revolutions, maybe this can help keep our country clean."

The last photo shows how successful he is in cleaning up. This is a load from ONE trip!
He puts it in the luggage department of the bus and from there it gets disposed off at the end of the day.  

Awareness of the public to care for the wonderful pleasures nature provides us with, has developed very much here in Israel over the last two decades, but as can be seen, there has to be worked more on the issue, there still is a lot of neglect. I think the most important way of improvement and promising the most success, is teaching the children - they will be the future grown ups, being eager to put in action what they have learned! We all will profit from it and be greatly awarded!


Anonymous said...

מרגש לראות עשייה כזו! יישר כוח.

Dawn of LaTouchables said...

What a marvelous doer. People like him are inspirations--they are real heroes. I loved this blogpost, Yael!

Annuk said...

I do agree with Dawn! What a wonderful post, Yael!!! It is truly heartwarming to get to know about projects like this and people like Ron! May Ron's dream come true, and may his example be like a small ball that by rolling on and on will get larger and larger and involve more and more hearts...

Hilde said...

Ron Milo sure is an inspiration. What a great job he does! I wish him all the best :)
Great post, Yael, and very interesting!

glazedOver said...

We should all dedicate ourselves to doing good in this way...or ANY way. A true inspiration!

Smilla said...

Super!! Ein Schritt in eine sorgfältige Richtung mit dem Vorbild voran!!
Ich würde es wichtig finden, dass vielleicht auch Kinder einmal bei einer solchen Aktion mit dabei sein und helfen könnten....
Habe als Jugendliche auch einmal bei einem Waldputz mitgemacht und es hat mich sehr beeindruckt!!
Wûnsche dir eine dynamische und fröhliche Woche!
♥-lich Brigitte

zsazsazsu said...

Parents should raise their kids too not ever ever ever through anything on the ground that is meant to be thrown into a wastebin !
I am always shocked seeing people throughing whatever on the ground ! This is a supergood plan !

Pesky Cat Designs said...

How wonderful! He is an inspiration!