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.
Oct 10, 2011

It's a Win/Win Situation

Maleku at Cano Negro in the olden days (no date)
Maleku at Cano Negro in the olden days (no date)

It takes four workers only eight days to construct a $2000 town hall of natural, traditional supplies in the Maleku Reserve. Simple!

Unless you happen to live in a rainforest.

The Maleku tribe, who inhabit 600 hectares of that rainforest, are struggling to recuperate their ancestral territory--just under 3000 hectares--depleted by cattle raising, returned to them by the Costa Rican government in 1976, although now, 35 years later, that land still has not been returned. In order for the reclamation project to function, the tribal council needs a reliable venue, called a rancho, for meeting, planning, and conducting ceremonies. The current rancho is in dire condition--roofed with plastic sheeting and falling apart around them. Constructing and subsequently maintaining a new one would employ several local men.

Sufficient funding would supply nails, lumber, and vines for construction; transportation of materials; and labor costs. A cheap and simple matter, really.

But in a rainforest, nothing comes cheaply or simply--a daily, commonplace fact for the Maleku. Gifts totalling just a little over $1,300 (we now have over $500 in donations for this project) would yield a wonderful transaction: four dedicated men + eight productive days = one traditional and essential rancho = 3000 hectares of recuperated territory of which 2000 will be restored to native rainforest.

A simple investment yielding remarkable dividends.

Change in forest cover 1961-1992, Maleku Reserve
Change in forest cover 1961-1992, Maleku Reserve
Assembly, the Maleku Tribal Council is born
Assembly, the Maleku Tribal Council is born
Bienvenido Cruz Castro, President of the MTC
Bienvenido Cruz Castro, President of the MTC
Map Maleku Reserve. They reside in the blue area.
Map Maleku Reserve. They reside in the blue area.
Angel Silva Silva, Treasurer of the MTC
Angel Silva Silva, Treasurer of the MTC

Links:

Oct 4, 2011

Trees and People, Working Together

KC Woods, newest member of the LRFF/US board
KC Woods, newest member of the LRFF/US board

Almost one month ago KC Woods and his dad, Ken came to La Reserva for a visit. KC said he needed to see first hand what we are doing here since being elected to the LRFF/US board. We went to the Maleku Reserve to see the trees planted thus far in the Rio Sol project. We were amazed at what we found! The trees had been planted only 2 ½ months earlier and were growing, no thriving. But wait, this is about forests and people. Here are the people working to restore forests for you.

Rebecca Bell arrived at La Reserva from the UK on July 23rd to begin her internship as a language major in a Spanish speaking country and work as my administrative assistant. She is amazing and has created the new LRFF 2012 calendar that will feature some photos from our supporters. Jimmy Acosta Elizondo has been working with us on the Rio Sol project since the first days of planting in June. He is now the on-site project supervisor. He has proven to be an excellent crew leader coming up with innovative solutions for nursery organization and project maintenance techniques. You probably already know Daniel. He is my beloved partner, LRFF field manager and treasurer of LRFF/CR. We couldn’t do any of this without him.

This past week we have inspected the areas planted at the end of May and the nurseries for the second phase plus looked at new properties to be reforested in yet a third phase of the Rio Sol Biological Corridor project,. Most of the nurseries have been created by women in Palenque Tonjibe and are doing great. We lacked cacao trees to be able to plant 10% in the remaining 21,000 trees but our friend Deibys, who also works as a regular team member planting and maintaining the areas, has a nursery of only cacao, a special durable breed. In December we will use his trees to make up the cacao to be planted in the third phase of the Rio Sol project.

It is the greatest feeling of bliss and purpose to see these women in their nurseries. They keep a daily watch on the baby trees making sure they have enough light but not too much sun. They watch the recently planted, scratching their trunks to make sure they are still alive and watch them struggling to put out new green buds. It is amazing and a huge thank you to these beautiful women for giving this great gift to their community and future generations.

See for yourselves how the baby trees are doing in the areas we visited today. In the photos see  the area planted on March 18th with Pierre Andres and the etnies Team Riders for the BASPAT inaugural ceremony. In the photo we are looking toward the area where the etnies sign is planted.

Jimmy is able to keep a close watch on the planted areas, nurseries and maintenance because he lives along the river. He inspects all of the areas once a week and alerts us of anything needed. There is a vine that grows super fast. It grows up the small tree and within two months takes it over. I found a small tree today whose new leaves were deformed and it was bent over to the ground with one of these vines climbing it’s frame.  Jimmy was worried and suggested the crew perform a maintenance cleaning earlier than planned.  He is also organizing the nurseries into groups of 100 trees to make the inventory easier.

No one knows the name of this tree that Daniel is standing next to. We found it in the La Reserva forest with amazing round fruits hanging from the trunk and limbs. We planted the seeds last year in the nursery and they all germinated. This one is doing great on Lillian Tinoco’s farm, over two meters tall.

In the close up photo of the baby tree you can see by the yellow leaves where the little tree went into shock when it was planted. Everything above it is new growth. Check out the photo below. I can’t help but get excited seeing these little trees thriving.

Yesterday we also looked at Alex Flores farm, “Finca La Nica”, within the Maleku Reserve in Palenque Tonjibe. Alex wants to reforest approximately 2 ½ hectares of pasture but must continue to have his cattle for income. He loves trees and already has an extensive primary forest on the property full of orchids, birds and animals. In the photos below and above you can see part of the area to be planted. The tall, thin trees below are Laurel, a common timber tree in the northern zone of Costa Rica.

We will now offer this project for funding as a continuation of the Rio Sol Biological Corridor project. Alex can’t begin his nursery until we have most of the funding in place so come on everybody………………

LET’S GET PLANTING!!

Rebecca Bell, Jimmy Acosta Elizondo and Daniel
Rebecca Bell, Jimmy Acosta Elizondo and Daniel
Fidelina showing us her nursery
Fidelina showing us her nursery
Damaras, Fidelina
Damaras, Fidelina's daughter, in her nursery
Deibys in his cacao nursery
Deibys in his cacao nursery
Olivia
Olivia's nursery at Palenque Tonjibe
Lillian Tinoco
Lillian Tinoco's reforested area planted on event
Lillian
Lillian's field today planted 6 months ago
Daniel standing next to the unkknown tree
Daniel standing next to the unkknown tree
Look at the progress, see the yellow leaves
Look at the progress, see the yellow leaves
The heart of the baby crown, pushing out leaves
The heart of the baby crown, pushing out leaves
Alex Flores with project area in background
Alex Flores with project area in background
Finca La Nica pasture to be planted
Finca La Nica pasture to be planted

Links:

Oct 3, 2011

Help a Family and Save a Rainforest

One inhabitant of the San Luis Forest, Manakin
One inhabitant of the San Luis Forest, Manakin

Mariano Monge, his wife Alba, and their children perform an incredible service: They maintain 14 hectares of tropical rainforest, protecting it from the rampant deforestation we're all too familiar with. That's 1,506,947 square feet of our precarious environmental future sustained for the benefit of us all.

The Monges' difficult, exhausting, and immensely valuable work is conducted in the dual shadows of grief for a lost child and sibling and the constant threat of hardship. The San Luis Forest is their livelihood. It would be easier to sell the land to developers, but the Monges understand and cherish the value of their rainforest, not only to themselves but to the entire world.

It's possible to lighten their load, carried partly on our behalf. Perhaps we owe them more than mere gratitude, more than simple acknowledgement, more than our best wishes.

Perhaps we owe them tangible support.

One family and 14 hectares of rainforest flourishing, 210 tonnes of CO2 per year sequestered, a multitude of precious plant and animal species preserved, part of our environmental future protected--all for just a little over $700.

Sounds like pretty good return on investment, doesn't it?

A resident butterfly feeding on Lantana flower
A resident butterfly feeding on Lantana flower
Two-toed Sloths depend on Marianos forest
Two-toed Sloths depend on Marianos forest

Links:

donate now:

An anonymous donor is matching all new monthly recurring donations. Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $20
    give
  • $25
    give
  • $40
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $120
    give
  • $250
    give
  • $985
    give
  • $20
    each month
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $40
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $120
    each month
    give
  • $250
    each month
    give
  • $985
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?