Text by Jennifer MacKenzie
From snow drifts to clouds of jasmine: in one season, the landscape of Amman has undergone a renaissance, thanks to a sturdy network of volunteers that aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
Last December, winter storm Alexa left 4,000 trees uprooted across the city and damaged over five times that number. In its wake, the municipality of greater Amman moved quickly to coordinate a civic recovery. The first wave of re-planting on January 15 gathered 800 volunteers who planted 5,000 new saplings in two parks and along Jordan Street, with rounds of more planting continuing each month. By May, the mayor of Amman, Aqel Biltaji, says the city’s green cover will comprise half a million trees.
These plantings are part of a long-term plan to make the water-short city an urban oasis. Nabal Qattan, executive director of the municipality’s social centers, rattles off the varieties of trees planted in over 20 neighborhoods: “Washingtonia on Abdullah Woshey Street, Jawanib Zenzelat on Ibrahim Qptan Street, and from the First to the Sixth Circle on Zahran Street, Rubinia and Hur trees.”
Last but not least are the tens of thousands of jasmines—the indigenous variety—that have also been planted. The blizzard might have been hard, but soon enough, the only patches of white dotting Amman will be millions of flowers, divinely perfumed.
For more info – Jordan Times