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.
Jul 29, 2013

Getting Personal

Courtney, Dan, and Tom planting trees
Courtney, Dan, and Tom planting trees

The Rio Sol Biological Corridor Project has been near and dear to my heart for the past two years. I started donating a portion of my very small college student budget to the project to help off-set my carbon footprint and to support LRFF. In the last two years, I also saved up more money to come down to Costa Rica and physically volunteer at La Reserva for half of my summer. Financial sacrifices were involved, yes, but the satisfaction that I've gained from reading Roberta's updates, and now having the opportunity to see the progress that I've contributed to first hand, makes any and all sacrifices worthwhile.

During my time going to visit the Rio Sol, I saw that even with persistent checkups and maintenance, no project is flawless. At one site along the corridor, a property owner had sprayed Root Out herbicide onto the understory and destroyed any natural baby trees from being able to grow up. At another site, I saw horses in among the growing trees potentially feeding on their new leaves, and signs of cow tracks in the dark, muddy soil. I was so thrilled and energized to see Roberta respond immediately to the breaches in contact by calling the person in charge of management to straighten everything out. Roberta and Dan’s passion for the foundation is unmatched to anything else that I’ve seen.

And who am I? I am Courtney Caldwell, a proud La Reserva Forest Foundation volunteer. I am concluding my five weeks in the beautiful rainforest with a satisfied heart and new found motivation to continue pursuing environmental science. Thank you so much to all those out there like me who have donated. I hope more of you can come visit this gorgeous country. 

Roberta and Jimmy honoring a Maleku land owner
Roberta and Jimmy honoring a Maleku land owner
Courtney under Papa Loco in La Reserva
Courtney under Papa Loco in La Reserva
Jul 16, 2013

A Big Honor This Week

A Grand Day of Honor
A Grand Day of Honor

We are at $525! The trees planted at Marvin’s now almost two years ago are thriving. LRFF representatives went to check up on the property in June and early July, and were able to report great progress.

While seeing the property in July, a group of nine of us went up to the Maleku lands to honor all of the landowners who participated in the Rio Sol Biological Corridor project. Andres who works at HP in San Jose with his wife and two young children, volunteers Tom, Tammy, and Courtney, and Roberta and Dan, the back bone of LRFF completed the convoy.  Andres and Roberta participated in HP’s Scope-A-Thon which helped identify LRFF’s greatest need. Very cool!

We caravanned from LRFF into the hills behind the other side of Lake Arenal to Guatuso. We drove deep into Maleku land and then hiked even further to three separate places to see how the trees were doing after two years of growth and establishment. We were disheartened to find out that someone had used Root Out herbicide at one of the locations, and to find that cows and horses had been in Marvin’s again.  I’m realizing more and more that people are going to do what they’re going to do, and a contract sometimes can’t even keep them tame. Thankfully, on Marvin’s property, the horses weren’t harming any of the trees, and we located where the cows were coming from. Then, we all went to have a Tilapia lunch under an authentic Maleku Rancho, a large hut with a roof made of palm leaves with two open sides. The fish was very boney and we all had fun trying our own techniques of picking them out. Roberta presented the land owners with certificates. Even though I couldn’t understand their Spanish acceptance speeches, I could see in their faces that they were honored and very proud of their contributions. We took photos of everyone together: gringos, Ticos, Maleku, and all. To finish the day, we shot a bow and arrow, and all had a grand time.

Yours Truly and Bienvenido at Marvin
Yours Truly and Bienvenido at Marvin's in June
Tree progress on Marvin
Tree progress on Marvin's 14 hectares
Ylang Ylang that we planted in December 2011
Ylang Ylang that we planted in December 2011

Links:

Jul 3, 2013

Lots of Interest

Zoe is mascot for Strack Transportation/LRFF goal
Zoe is mascot for Strack Transportation/LRFF goal

Last time I wrote you we were hoping for an agreement with a transportation company in Los Angeles to offset their projected GHG emissions for 2013. Hope no more; it’s a done deal. Yes, they began charging all of their clients an extra $1.50 per ride on the first of April. They were able to send their first installment the middle of May and, get this, it was more than they expected.

We have combined three smaller projects that total a little over 9000 trees to offset the company’s emissions. All of the projects are in the same general area of Costa Rica as this one, “Reforesting the Deforestation”. It’s the original Maleku territory and many people and businesses seem drawn to helping these people who are in danger of extinction. 

Now that the other three projects are being sponsored by Strack Premier Transportation, all of the focus will be on this project to receive donations and soon we will be able to GET PLANTING IT!

The first nursery for upcoming planting in Sept.
The first nursery for upcoming planting in Sept.
Heron, one of the many birds living at Cano Blanco
Heron, one of the many birds living at Cano Blanco

Links:

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