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.
Nov 8, 2011

Two-Year Progress

Planting day Nov. 27, 2009
Planting day Nov. 27, 2009

“Connecting Forest Islands in Costa Rica”, David Alvarez’s property, was LRFF’s first project on Global Giving. We won the GG Open Challenge in August 2009 because of your generosity, donating more than $4000 from 50 unique donors. Giant Studios made the final donation to fund the project in November commemorating the finish of the film Avatar that they did the image work on.

The 2+ hectares were planted the following week, bringing the total trees LRFF planted in 2009 to 10,000. Daniel and the maintenance crew have been cleaning the property for two years and we feel that one more cleaning in January will be the last. I wanted to share the progress in only two years of this project. One year ago we passed by and found cow pies in the planted area. The neighbor’s cow had broken down the fence and been eating the grass and our little trees. The fence was repaired immediately and now one year later the trees are all growing, look………….

If you plant it they will come and stay. In the photo above you can see the connection already from the fence line to the forest in the background. Thank you for helping us implement this successful project.

This made 10,000 trees planted in 2009
This made 10,000 trees planted in 2009
The trees today, two years later
The trees today, two years later
Fence running top to bottom constructed in 2009
Fence running top to bottom constructed in 2009

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Nov 8, 2011

Project Hometree, a Great Project

The furrows at planting Sept. 2010
The furrows at planting Sept. 2010

This past month Omar, Miguel and Kyra Hagl cleaned and replaced trees here at La Reserva for Project Hometree. Above you can see the furrows the planting crew cut in the deep African grasses to prepare the 8 hectares for planting last year. This is a labor-intensive project, preparing the land and now the maintenance. Miguel and Omar worked at cleaning and replanting for three weeks. Kyra Hagl arrived the last week and was a grand help planting replacements while the guys concentrated on the cleaning.

You can still see the furrows above but the trees are now taller than the grasses. We have one more year of maintenance on Project Hometree, this is a very successful project. In the majority of the planted areas the trees are growing at an amazing rate. There are lenses in the soil in all of our project areas where the trees just don’t grow well or not at all. Even the pasture grasses don’t do well. These lenses are usually a very fine-grained, red clay. 

The trees one year later in the furrows
The trees one year later in the furrows
Miguel, me, Omar and Kyra Hagl w/beers
Miguel, me, Omar and Kyra Hagl w/beers

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Oct 17, 2011

El Farallon, Good News and More Good News

8 has. being preserved over next 5 years, in red
8 has. being preserved over next 5 years, in red

Thanks to your generosity the “Preserving El Farallon Natl. Monument” forest preservation project was funded this past August. Many employees from Eli Lilly donated during the last month, really amazing.

Last week, after we received the final disbursement from GlobalGiving for this project we called the Lopez family to let them know it was time to come sign the contract and receive their check for payments for environmental services (PES) to preserve the 48 hectares of forest for the next year. They said that there was a problem with the 40 hectare piece but that they would explain when they came to La Reserva. Sounded quite ominous.

They explained that since we wrote up the project in June 2010 and the time it was funded by you in August 2011, the national forestry program, FONAFIFO agreed to pay them PES’s over the next 5 years for water incrementation on the 40 hectare forest. That left the 8 hectare regenerated piece to preserve. The funds were very much over and above what was needed to pay them for that.

A light bulb went off in my head!! After calculating I realized we had enough funding to pay the Lopez’s PES’s on the 8 hectare regenerated forest for the next 5 years. They agreed, happily, signed the contract and received their first annual payment of $522.00.

The project turned out a little different than we thought but the 40 hectares are being preserved over the next 5 years and through our support so are the other 8. This eight hectares of forest will absorb and store approximately 600 metric tonnes of CO2 during that time.

More good news, the Lopez’s want to do a forest restoration project with LRFF on their property. From the public road their personal road passes through all of the farm and this is how we arrive at their beautiful, typical home. They are planning to build a new house up at the public road and want to plant native forest on both sides of the old road through the farm, more than 1 kilometer. I explained how the project works with the Maleku people, the landowners create the nurseries, let the trees develop for 4 – 6 months and at planting time LRFF buys them for .50/tree. Gisella’s father loves to grow trees she explained and would love the opportunity to create and care for the nursery. This is the PES we pay the landowner on these projects and it is equal to paying $100/ha/year but they receive it up front all at once. The other beautiful benefit is the great appreciation the nursery gives the community of seeing the forest return.

Thank you again for your great generosity. Watch for the Lopez’s reforestation project on GlobalGiving soon.

The Lopez
The Lopez's typical Costa Rican house
Petroglyphs at El Farallon National Monument
Petroglyphs at El Farallon National Monument
The river and bluff of these famous petroglyphs
The river and bluff of these famous petroglyphs

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