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.
May 23, 2011

The Gaping Holes

Elias in typical Maleku dress (made from trees)
Elias in typical Maleku dress (made from trees)

The cooperation between La Reserva Forest Foundation and the Maleku is bearing fruit. Soon planting will begin in the biological corridor along the Rio Sol which you can read about in the Rio Sol update. The rains are beginning which ensures the survival of the young trees being put into the ground. The beginning of the rains also means that tribal gatherings, ceremonies, and meetings need a space that’s protected from outside elements. 

The last time I was in Costa Rica I stepped into the old rancho building to see the gaping holes in the roof which have been partially covered with plastic. It was clear that the walls were none too stable either, the need for a new structure was apparent. It amazes me that a new rancho can be built for less than $2,000 (try that in the US!) The plan calls for building it in the old way, using natural, sustainably harvested forest materials. The project will provide work for people in the community as well as giving them a usable meeting space. We can’t do it without your support, please donate today.

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May 23, 2011

Healthy Native Tropical Forest’s Importance to the

The great toad of Costa Rica. They need shade.
The great toad of Costa Rica. They need shade.

You may have read about the alarming rate of species depletion around the world. Though it’s not  a story that makes the nightly news, it has been documented in various scientific journals and conservation magazines. No one knows the long term effect of this increasingly rapid loss of species diversity, but it is generally agreed to be a frightening fact. Better news coverage has been given to the devastating climatic events  occurring across the United States and around the world. For some it seems clear that Mother Earth is fighting back against the myriad abuses she has endured. The casualties continue to climb. 

We have at hand a means to address both these fearful issues. The most potent antidote we have at this time to fight the trends of species depletion and global climate change is to plant trees. Trees planted in the tropics are particularly important for they have up to 40 times the leaf mass of trees in more temperate zones - and that means a much higher rate of CO2 absorption. It is also the tropics that host the greatest diversity of both flora and fauna, which thrive in healthy forests.

The good news about this project is that we currently have over $1,000 in donations toward planting the 2,000+ trees that would connect two large areas of forest. Your donation will help get the trees in the ground, you’ll be part of creating a new biological corridor which will increase the health of the existing forests and protect the species living there. Please donate today.

Links:

May 19, 2011

GlobalGiving Visit With La Reserva

Do you want to give to a project that has vision? High impact? Passionate leadership? Long-term dedication? Look no further than La Reserva. Roberta Ward Smiley, founder of La Reserva, is a kind, intelligent, and welcoming individual who has been taking high impact action to restore and preserve the beautiful rainforests of Costa Rica. Roberta has been at this for the last 15 years but has been living in Costa Rica for around 30 years and is no stranger to the landscape. I met Roberta on April 5th. Prior to this I had little knowledge of the importance of biological corridors, tree nursery maintenance, and biodiversity. By the end of our day together Roberta had explained these things and much more. In addition, she took me to see several of the project sites that La Reserva was in the process of reforesting. Roberta works with homeowners to build biological corridors on their properties. For the homeowners this translates into free tress and a more aesthetic property. For La Reserva this fulfills their philosophy. This philosophy and work ethic recently resulted in La Reserva receiving two grants through the Ford Foundation. This competition was not taken lightly and only the best organizations were selected—La Reserva was selected twice!!! For those of you that have seen the movie Avatar you may recall “Hometree.” This is both the spiritual and physical home of the Na’vi people. Roberta has a project “Hometree” in her back yard—literally. It’s a reforestation project with countless amounts of species and it’s called “Project Hometree.” For me this was the most profound experience from my visit. I realized that we can all have our own project “Hometree.” Not all of us will dedicate our lives to restoring and preserving trees as Roberta has. But ALL of us should realize the importance of balance and interconnections the way that Roberta does. Trees are the foundation of life. This is the message that La Reserva is trying to advocate for and teach others. This is why organizations such as this are so vital. By supporting La Reserva you are supporting many Hometree’s and generating more oxygen for all of life’s creatures. Roberta went from dairy farming to what she calls “oxygen farming.” This is the type of farming that we should all feel inclined to applaud.

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