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.
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:

Jan 27, 2014

Plan B

Packing trees in the nursery into plastic boxes
Packing trees in the nursery into plastic boxes

I’ve been putting off writing this progress report but now have reached the deadline. In our last progress report I explained about how we have applied for the Whitley Award and how part of the funding from the prize will be used to implement this project.

Matt Lee and I have been sitting on pins and needles this past month waiting to for the result, this is why I’ve been waiting to post this report. No news yet but in the interim we have received some other funding opportunities that constitute Plan B.

One of the newer members of the LRFF/US board has a close connection with a foundation on the east coast who have micro grants available to grassroots organizations like ours. Only from $1000 - $3000 each but we can plant 1000 trees for $3000 or 300+ trees for $1000. All we have to do is find smaller planting projects or even an educational project would be eligible.

Ever since this opportunity revealed itself I’ve been turning it over in my head, wondering how I could find projects of such a small size and then, voila…I remembered that Restoring Forests in Guatuso is a single project made up of a lot of smaller projects owned by six different landowners. Why not do some of these as individual projects? Really why not…please watch for the next report and see where this goes. ‘

We are planting other projects so be sure to check out the photos below of our most recent planting in the Maleku Reserve at the beginning of December.

But in the meantime please share this project that you believe in, believe in enough to donate your hard earned $$ for. Everyone is anxious to get their nurseries started, so…

We Can Get Planting!!

Hauling the boxes to the tractor for transport
Hauling the boxes to the tractor for transport
Tractor hauling to planting site, he got stuck!
Tractor hauling to planting site, he got stuck!
Planting at Ebert Fonseca
Planting at Ebert Fonseca's, Maleku Reserve
Me and crew celebrating afterward, PURA VIDA
Me and crew celebrating afterward, PURA VIDA

Links:

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