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.
Dec 1, 2011

Changing Day By Day

Deibys Villalobos being paid for his cacao trees
Deibys Villalobos being paid for his cacao trees

November 17 and 18 Jimmy Acosta, Bienvenido Cruz and myself did the tree inventory of the nurseries growing trees for the second phase planting of the Rio Sol Biological Corridor project. The final count was 20,250 and over 95 species.

I felt very fortunate to write all of the checks to the 18+ nursery owners on my birthday, what an amazing gift. Daniel, Jimmy and our friend Brian Bubb delivered them the following day, Friday, November 25th. Everyone in Tonjibe knew they were coming but I wasn’t able to tell them what time exactly. Dan, Jimmy and Brian had to go first to Katira and Guatuso to deliver checks. When they arrived at Palenque Tonjibe the bus was parked waiting, all of the nursery participants were waiting to receive their checks and board the bus for Guatuso where they would cash them. Only problem was each person had to also sign a receipt and by the time everyone signed the bus had left, leaving quite a large crowd of women and children behind. Daniel had to go up into the housing area to pay a couple of people who weren’t out in the street. When he came back to the car he said he’d never seen so many taxis coming in and leaving with so many people. Everyone doubled up and rented taxis because they’d missed the bus. 

This past Monday, the 28th, work began planting the second stage of the Rio Sol project. The preliminary crew hauled the trees from Felipa Alvarez’s nursery (500 meters into the forest without a road) out to the main road using a team of oxen and a small cart.

On Tuesday the full ten man team hauled all of the trees from the nurseries in Palenque Tonjibe out to the main road using plastic boxes and wheelbarrows. They also brought the 1000 cacao trees from Deiby’s nursery in Katira that took two trips with a cargo taxi. A truckload was also taken from the La Reserva nursery, approximately 800 trees of 15+ species, and delivered to the church in Tonjibe. That makes a total of over 21,000 trees and 110 native species. By the end of the day all of the trees except a small amount on the road into Tonjibe were sitting next to the bright green church ready for pick up by the tractor and huge trailer on Wednesday morning.

This morning, Wednesday, with everyone ready to haul the trees up to Marvin Castro’s farm in Viento Fresco, the tractor driver called to say he wouldn’t be able to make it. The team worked the rest of the morning hauling out the other small amount of trees at Palenque Margarita and then were done for the day. Mañana says the tractor driver. Hmmmm.

Waiting to ………………..GET PLANTING

Evelia Avarez and Daniel on pay day
Evelia Avarez and Daniel on pay day
Fidelina at left had the nursery w/most species
Fidelina at left had the nursery w/most species
Isidro Blanco who is participating with his land
Isidro Blanco who is participating with his land
Damaris Cruz E., our nursery/artist friend
Damaris Cruz E., our nursery/artist friend
Hauling trees w/oxen from Felipa
Hauling trees w/oxen from Felipa's nursery
Team placing trees at church lot
Team placing trees at church lot
10 man planting team (minus JImmy taking photo)
10 man planting team (minus JImmy taking photo)

Links:

Nov 8, 2011

We're Coming On!

Lillian Tinoco
Lillian Tinoco's area within the constructed fence

The Rio Sol Biological Corridor with our family, the Maleku. In Guatuso, where the three villages are found with the Rio Sol running through, the soil is sticky gray/brown clay. This is one of the most fertile agricultural areas in Costa Rica and the growth of the trees planted in June is astounding. Here is a photo that our on-site supervisor Jimmy Acosta Elizondo took with his little cell phone. No matter it is blurry, you can see the trees growing against the brighter green of the recently cut rice.

Lillian’s 1 hectare corridor along the Rio Sol has actually been a real pain in the neck but look at those babies grow. On planting day last June the planting team found they were unwelcome when they entered the property to plant the 1000 native trees. Julio, Lillian’s son, mistakenly rented the entire farm area to a local rice grower to plant rice. When the team arrived the rice farmer told them they couldn’t walk back and forth across the newly planted field much less haul the trees to the planting area from the truck with horses. The rice farmer is our friend and is a great supporter of the project. I talked to him, promising the horses would follow the same track through the field each time and the rest of us would only walk on the unplanted borders of the field. He agreed and Lillian’s was planted.

The rice grew and grew. Last month was harvest time and we went with Jimmy and the rice farmer to have a look at the baby trees. Most of the trees had grown taller than the rice already and the rice was above our wastes. We all agreed that Jimmy would find 10 workers to cut the rice by hand with machetes in one day, harvest day, to keep the heavy machinery from cutting the baby trees and running them over with the huge wheels. Above you see the corridor safely fenced, the rice cut, the baby trees cleaned and the ones that didn’t survive have been replaced. Great work, Jimmy.

Above is just one of the 22 community nurseries at the Maleku Reserve. Moncho is participating with almost two hectares of his farm and is growing 2000 trees in his nursery. On November 17th the inventory will be taken of all nurseries, the quantity of trees and species type in each. We bring these numbers home and start writing checks to the nursery keepers and making our new tree species list for this phase.

We have 21,000 trees to plant starting at the end of November and continuing on until we are finished. Volunteers are very much needed for this project. Funding is short and we must be able to plant these and then maintain all 35,000 immediately afterward.

PLANTING TREES AND SPREADING SEEDS!

Felix (Moncho) Mejias nursery
Felix (Moncho) Mejias nursery

Links:

Nov 8, 2011

Some Tough Project

“Increasing Tenorio Volcano Forest” on Roy Whaley’s property is a completely different story. Another great Global Giving project that many of your supported in donations and/or volunteering. We planted Roy’s 1 ½ hectare area in June 2010 with 1800 native trees of more than 70 species.

The maintenance crew has returned every three months to clean the trees and always finds a large percentage “disappeared”. While part of the crew cleans the trees others replace trees that haven’t survived or “disappeared”. But, alas, three months later when they return those same trees and others are completely gone without a trace, not even a little stick left.

Daniel has puzzled over this and last week when the crew returned to Roy’s it was the same story. The soil is extremely depleted from cattle grazing and it has a steep incline so that whatever nutrients are in the soil run down with the rain to the depression below where Roy’s compound is. Dan hasn’t taken any photos of Roy’s because he feels it is a failure but it’s important to share every part of our work with you.

Dan picked up a truckload of large trees and delivered them to Roy’s while the crew cleaned that day. We will return again at the beginning of the year but in the meantime Roy’s worker will be planting these new trees. We will keep you posted on this mysterious tree mortality problem at Roy Whaley’s farm.

Links:

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