Concrete Creek 1999-2002 Tzachi Hanegbi
The Israeli Minister of the EnvironmentThe reclamation of streams in Israel and their transformation into key recreational sites is a significant contribution to improving the quality of the environment in Israel.The Concrete Creek project is an initiatory, experimental and unique model for planning, reclamation and conservation of a damaged environment in collaboration with those who caused its contamination and are now toiling toward its rehabilitation.
As an example for cooperation between industry and art and between artists and scientists for the sake of the environment, it is an important, welcome project.A reclaimed stream is a stream whose surroundings are preserved and cultivated. I am hopeful that this project will turn out to be a deserving, feasible model for the reclamation of many other streams in Israel, the majority of which are presently damaged and polluted, and in dire need of rehabilitation.Not only would their reclamation be a highly significant ecological contribution, but it would also expand, enrich and diversify the potential recreational sites at the disposal of the Israeli public.
Artist Shai Zakai, founder of the Israeli Forum for Ecological Art, who has been working tirelessly on the Concrete Creek project for two and a half years now, deserves all the credit and praise for her inexhaustible initiative and energy in harnessing various bodies and organizations to take part in the project.I hope that in the near future approval will be granted, which would allow us to change the name of the rehabilitated Atzmona Stream to “Concrete Creek”, as befitting its essence and as a token of appreciation to the project and its initiator.“Concrete Creek” brought together various professionals who would probably never have met had they not taken part in it: cement mixer drivers with museum curators; welders with musicians; quarry workers with gallery owners; and all these with the highest ranking representatives of the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Culture, Science and Sport.This project is the first real test for artists’ ability to initiate and lead crucial ecological processes.
The Ministry of the Environment under my supervision strives to be a pivotal partner in this initiative to improve the appearance of landscape, an enterprise whose contribution to the quality of the environment is vast and vital.I hope that the close and fruitful cooperation between the authorities and visionary, creative artists will serve as a model for further instances of commendable endeavors within the scope of fields under my Ministry’s responsibility.