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 25, 2011

Forest As Pharmacy

Pau d
Pau d' Arco (Corteza Negra) a miraculous medicine

If you’re lucky enough to visit Costa Rica you can’t help but be amazed by the fecundity of life there. Upon entering the forest one is surrounded by an abundance of green growth. A single mature tree is host to thousands of life forms: vines, bromeliads, epiphytes, tree frogs, and much more all demonstrating by their very being the interdependence of all life. Imagine thousands of such trees hosting hundreds of thousands of other life forms and you begin to understand that you are standing in the midst of an incredible abundance. But do you understand the importance of this abundance? 

According to EarthTalk, a regular feature of E/The Environmental Magazine there are over 100 prescription drugs sold today that are derived directly from rainforest plants. Two-thirds of medicines with cancer-fighting properties from such plants. Other maladies treated by plants from the tropical forests of the world include heart disease, diabetes, bronchitis, and tuberculosis to name only a few. Further products such as anesthetics, enzymes, hormones, antiseptics and antibiotics come from rainforest plants and herbs. Yet less than 1% of the plants in tropical forests have even been tested for their medicinal properties. 

At La Reserva we work with land owners such as Omar Quesada to protect existing forests on land they own in order to preserve not only the trees but also the life-enhancing medicinal plants yet to be found there. Our contracts with land owners gives them much needed income and prevents their having to sacrifice portions of their forests for the money it would provide. We are able to do this because of your help. It’s your donations that provide the funds needed to keep these forests intact and preserve the yet-to-be-found medicines within them. We thank you for your help with our efforts and hope that you will once again make a donation to this worthwhile project.

Flowers of the Pau d
Flowers of the Pau d'Arco tree

Links:

Jul 25, 2011

Getting Connected

Euphonia, forest connectivity dependent
Euphonia, forest connectivity dependent

Another great progress report from Mary Blizzard, secretary of LRFF/US, my best friend and greatest supporter of LRFF. After writing this report she went ahead and donated to it again. Thank you Mary. Come on everyone let's get this one planted!! RWS

I’ve been lucky enough to return to Costa Rica for a short visit. I am amazed yet again at how rapidly things grow in this environment. Trees that I helped plant just two years ago are already taller than I am. A small forest that I helped plant three years ago has trees in so tall that I can stand underneath their canopy. This incredibly rapid growth is part of what gives me hope that sustained efforts in reforestation will help bring our mother Earth back into balance. Tropical forests are the lungs of the Earth, their depletion has created an imbalance that we witness as wide-spread droughts in parts of the world and unprecedented flooding in others. 

This project when funded will plant 2,500 trees in an area that is now open pasture. These trees will rapidly grow from small seedlings to tall trees, capable of absorbing over 30 tons of CO2, replacing it with life-sustaining oxygen. The trees will also form a corridor for the many animals living in adjacent forests, expanding their territory thus increasing their chances for survival. (Being trapped in forest islands is one of the causes of species depletion as the gene pool is limited and weakness becomes inbred.) Your donation to this project will make you a partner in these rewarding outcomes. Thank you for caring, for loving your mother, the Earth, and for making a donation to our reforestation efforts

Chicha injured due to lack of forest connectivity
Chicha injured due to lack of forest connectivity

Links:

Jul 25, 2011

Song of the Jungle

Mantled Howler Monkey in forest cover
Mantled Howler Monkey in forest cover

The vision many people have of Costa Rica is that of tranquil beaches alongside massive areas of uninterrupted jungle. Although there are indeed many beautifully forested areas in the country, the fact is that cattle farming and development have destroyed much of the original forest cover. The preservation of existing forested areas is of utmost importance therefore, because it is from mature forests that both seed and seedlings are gathered for reforestation efforts. 

Still, the abundance of life in the Costa Rican forests never ceases to amaze me. As I write this update I’m listening to the percussive rhythm of cicadas accompanying the persistent two-toned song of the long-tailed manakin. A few moments ago a troop of howler monkeys added a base line to the melody. It’s the song of the jungle, a soothing reminder of the inter-relatedness of all life.

The forest of El Farallon, about fifteen miles from where I sit at La Reserva, hosts its own chorus of diverse species. These animals, birds, and insects are dependent upon the existence of this forest for their survival just as we are dependent upon you, our donors, to help us in its preservation. Please donate today and help us preserve the forested acreage of El Farallon and the melody of life within it.

Fruit of the Stilt Palm on forest floor
Fruit of the Stilt Palm on forest floor

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