La Reserva Forest Foundation

La Reserva Forest Foundation is a Costa Rican non-profit, tax exempt foundation working to restore and preserve native tropical forests, dedicated to creating "tree bridges" linking isolated forest islands using volunteers and the local school communities, and fighting global warming through various carbon neutral projects.
Mar 24, 2014

A Recent Visit to the Area

Planting day Rio Piedras, June 2009
Planting day Rio Piedras, June 2009

     LRFF had a distinguished visitor the first week of March, Ronald Jones. Ron contacted us almost one year ago wanting to know about our organization, the projects we have implemented and plan to implement (like this one), he was especially interested in the "payments for environmental" services model LRFF uses as an incentive for landowners to partner with us and reforest small parts of their farms.   

     I drove Ron to all of the projects in the area that we have replanted in the last 4 years. One in particular really blew our mind...over in Rio Piedras, we planted in June 2009. My eyes must have bugged out of my head because where once was old, unproductive, sickly cow pasture is now a multi-species forest. See the photo! He was amazed like everyone at how quickly the forests return in the tropical environment. 

     We traveled to Guatuso one full day and drove past the "Reforesting the Deforestation" project property. LRFF also has another project of 15 hectares with six different landowners in the same area, "Restoring Forests to Guatuso". Our destination was Upala where Elias Cruz is reforesting a six hectare biological corridor "For The Monkeys" on parts of two different farms. We needed to inspect his tree nurseries because this project will be planted when the rainy season comes, July or June. This project is a Global Giving success story like so many of our projects because it was partially funded by generous donors via GG and through that exposure Strack Premier Transportation in Los Angeles, California found us and funded the rest of the project. 

     Ron and I also met with the Maleku Tribal Council, saw the Rio Sol Biological Corridor project where 35,000 trees (more than 100 native species) were planted in a continuous corridor along the river that passes through all three Maleku villages. On the ride back from the nurseries we passed over Rio Celeste and Ron thought the river was contaminated but we explained that's why it's callled Rio Celeste because of it's incredible turqoiuse blue color. The photo below is downriver from the famous waterfalls where the waters are dark turqoise blue from the sulphur content. 

     By the time Ron left he pledged to work/partner with LRFF in Costa Rica to help us plant 1,000,000 trees in the next 7 years. This project, 42,000 trees, will be the first one we implement if all of our plans come to fruition. You can continue to help us out, don't wait, by sharing this report and the project link with your friends and family. Give us a shout out on Face and Twitter, we are making a difference entirely from donations that go directly into planting trees. So come on...

LET"S GET PLANTING!

March 2014, see the house? Rio Piedras same area
March 2014, see the house? Rio Piedras same area
Traditional Maleku Upal (rancho)
Traditional Maleku Upal (rancho)
Maleku Council meeting in the rancho
Maleku Council meeting in the rancho
Entrance to the Maleku indigenous peoples reserve
Entrance to the Maleku indigenous peoples reserve
One of Elias Cruz
One of Elias Cruz's nursery
Rio Celeste
Rio Celeste

Links:

Feb 11, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO MOTHER EARTH

Planting Goddesses, yours truly and my sisters
Planting Goddesses, yours truly and my sisters

Thanks to you and others like you this project is almost funded again. Just since our last progress report almost $500 were donated to the project. Only $600 left and we will be ahead of the game. We will be able to pay Mariano and his little family the payments for environmental services they are earning by preserving that precious forest on the shore of Lake Arenal.

Every other year we’ve had to pay Mariano for his conservation services after the fact. It just goes to show how the worldview and priorities are changing since we founded LRFF over nine years ago.

A founding principle of our organization is positive action and thought. Action for me is the key word. Lots of other organizations do a lot of talking and even protesting…are environmental activists but their actions are based on negativity, resistance to what is.

You will only find us participating in positive action, that means if someone is cutting a tree down anywhere in the world we are planting trees in another place to more than make up for the negativity.

Check out the photos of our most recent positive action, the planting of over 500 trees on January 31st with an all girl/woman crew. We called it the “goddess” planting. The link is a video of my friend Nicida demonstrating how to plant a tree the Maleku way. LRFF has implemented various projects with the Maleku Tribe in northern Costa Rica in the past three years.

Thank you all for your continued support and generosity.

Let’s Act Positive and Get Planting!

The goddesses hard at work planting, princess too
The goddesses hard at work planting, princess too
Look at those new trees just planted. She
Look at those new trees just planted. She's happy
Plant a tree for a loved one at www.lrff.org
Plant a tree for a loved one at www.lrff.org

Links:

Jan 27, 2014

News From Liberia

Liberian refugee camp
Liberian refugee camp

I was hoping my partner, Neabei Toah who helped me develop this worthy project, would be able to send us a few paragraphs about what’s happening in his country, Liberia, West Afrika. But alas, he has many challenges that make it impossible for him to communicate with me on a regular basis and he has no camera to send us images. The camera and computer are part of the budget for this project and when enough funding is received for those items Neabei will be able to help us better.

Neabei and his family were farmers before the tragic 25 years civil war. They still have the land but all the structures were long ago destroyed as an effect of the war. But with recent advances by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Florence Chenoweth, they may have the opportunity to return to their farm. They were forced to move to the capital city of Monrovia during the war for lack of a place to live.

Between ¼ and ½ million Liberians died during the war and ALL wild animals and livestock were eaten. The forest we will restore at the University for this project was cut down for firewood, even the precious woods.

Dr. Chenoweth, a world respected human rights expert and Africa Prize winner, is looking to recover farming as a national productive activity now that the war is over. She has the HUGE task of bringing the previous subsistence farm sector (all of Liberia) into the 21st Century. If anyone can do it she can. After the first democratic election 8 years ago the farming comeback is super slow.

When the Ministry of Agriculture first started out they didn’t even have a germ plasm or seed to plant in the Earth and almost no animals lived because after 25 years of war the people ate everything that moved. They re-opened their agricultural research station and it is now almost self-sufficient in seed production.

Strangely the tropical forests in Liberia have created a problem for the agricultural sector because of the diseases and pests in them. Because there haven’t been any agricultural practices during the war years the pests have spread to nearby farms and some invaded deep into the soils.

The population of Liberia is 3.5 million people and women are the traditional farmers. Here’s the problem though…since virtually everyone lived in refugee camps for 20 – 25 years the older women, the farmers, have passed on without passing on their farming knowledge to the younger women. Dr. Chenoweth expresses the vital need for training programs in farming and planting for today’s women.

Our project, “Educational Reforestation in War Torn Liberia” has an all woman planting crew. ALL of funding needed to implement the project will be used to address forestry education, sustainability and climate change adaptation, to replace the small forest at the University biology station that was destroyed during the war and to inspire hope in a people downtrodden and sick from a very long war. Come on everybody...

Let’s Get Planting, Liberia!

Rubber, a big business in Liberia
Rubber, a big business in Liberia
What Liberia can look like if we get planting!
What Liberia can look like if we get planting!

Links:

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