This autumn, the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem and its charitable arm, Saint Lazare International, have begun constructing vertical gardens throughout the Old City of Jerusalem as part its permanent commitment to Green Pilgrimage in the Holy Land.

Across the world, vertical gardens are being incorporated into cities with heavy population centers through governmental, civic, non-profit and individual initiatives, citing their sustainability through cost-effectiveness and ability to fit into existing urban landscapes with minimal effort. The Old City of Jerusalem’s unique architecture and system of neighborhood-based communities makes it an excellent candidate for such innovative measures in bringing “green lungs” to its many walled streets, arches and gates.

The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus has begun a pilot program in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, introducing vertical gardens in select areas to be maintained by the Holy Land Commandery with the help of local partner organizations and individuals. This marks another step forward in the Order’s commitment to its Green Pilgrimage initiative, which has been a priority since the process of return of the Order to its magistral seat began in 2010.

The Order has now constructed 2 vertical gardens to date, just before the start of the rainy season in Jerusalem. Residents and pilgrims alike in the Old City have expressed their satisfaction at this innovative initiative, and discussions are underway with local community organizations for further gardens to be constructed in place, hopefully in time for Easter celebrations in the spring of 2018.

International supporters are also welcome to consider sponsoring a vertical garden plot, with a donation of a square meter plot or for an entire wall. For more information, please get in to contact by: green-wall@saint-lazare.org or +972 2372 4135.