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 14, 2013

YOU ROCK!

A rare Flor de Un Dia
A rare Flor de Un Dia

Because of you this same forest in San Luis was funded for the second year and we were able to pay Mariano. I’ve known Mariano and his late wife Alba for over 30 years. January will be the first anniversary of Alba’s death, an end to her struggle with cancer. It’s been such an honor, because of your generosity, to be able to pay Mario the payments for environmental services that he so needs and deserves. That 14 hectares (35 acres) is absorbing and storing over 280 metric tonnes of CO2 emitted from human activity yearly not to mention the oxygen it's producing. 

I was able to pay Mariano this last month for almost another full year. We’re also due to perform an inspection there but everything is looking good, even the Capuchin monkeys are returning.

Mariano asked me to express a special thank you to all of you who donated to the forest. It won’t be long and it will be funded again and we can wait for another year. Mariano has been able to fix his house, put his children through school and pay for the special help he needs for the house work and children’s care.

This forest is one of the only ones on the shores of Lake Arenal. All of the other shore areas are either owned by the electric company or developed for tourism and luxury housing. So come on everybody let’s keep this place safe and thank you again for helping Mariano and all the life inhabiting that pristine forest. 

The strange buttercup grandpa orchid
The strange buttercup grandpa orchid
Flor de Un Dia, blooms November to April
Flor de Un Dia, blooms November to April
Each tree supports myriad life upon it. Look!
Each tree supports myriad life upon it. Look!

Links:

Oct 29, 2013

One Down, Two To Go...

panoramic shot of the entire planting area and us
panoramic shot of the entire planting area and us

I realize that this project has been funded, but that has a lot to do with you so I thought you'd enjoy seeing it be planted...

On Saturday, September 28th we got planting. The Educational Reforestation in La Fortuna project is the first of three projects that Strack Premier Transportation is sponsoring to offset the businesses projected GHG emissions for 2013. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for some videos and a beautiful slide show, but wait...there're more photos and news here. First of all a big up to Karlos Sandoval, Jose Gonzalez, Jimmy Acosta, Sidney Muñoz and the entire Gonzalez family for the help, it couldn't have happened without you. 

At 6 am Jose and Sidney arrived at La Reserva and we loaded 600 trees into Jose's truck from the La Reserva nursery. We would use these to mix and match with the Gonzalez's nursery trees to have more species diversity. 

 Arenal Vida Campesina is the Gonzalez's beautiful tourist destination in Jauuri, La Fortuna where the project area is.

This was a really difficult planting but we had a lot of help as you can see above. :) The land measured approximately 1/2 hectare (1 1/4 acre) and we calculated 500 trees. We took 600 trees from the La Reserva nursery and sent approximately 200 trees back to La Reserva from Jose Gonzalez's nursery, different species to give our nursery more varieties. All total we planted about 800 trees of 102 different native species. It was a bright, sunny day near the Arenal Volcano this planting day and we felt blessed until about one hour into the work. One group digs the holes while behind them another group distributes the trees, cuts the bags and plants them. In that hot sun we got overheated frequently and we realised it would take us a lot longer than we expected. By the end of the day yours truly actually felt "cold/chilled" inside although burning up externally. Strange!

We finished at 4 pm and looked back at the 800 baby trees we'd just planted. There was Arenal Volcano (see photo) in the background of the field we'd just planted and later on the rains fell upon the blessed baby trees. 

Thank you so much everyone for your generosity.

"If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go together". Afrikan Proverb

The day began with this beautiful Torito orchid
The day began with this beautiful Torito orchid
Following the trees around the lake to Fortuna
Following the trees around the lake to Fortuna
Panoramic view at the Arenal Dam on the way
Panoramic view at the Arenal Dam on the way
restaurant at Arenal Vida Campesina, Noilen
restaurant at Arenal Vida Campesina, Noilen
Planting midday
Planting midday
Jose Gonzalez and his two nephews, volunteers all
Jose Gonzalez and his two nephews, volunteers all
Finished and there she is, Arenal Volcano framed
Finished and there she is, Arenal Volcano framed

Links:

Oct 28, 2013

Challenges As Opportunities

This is what they have...or had
This is what they have...or had

The previous progress report was written by my partner, Neabei Toah in Liberia, who helped me develop this worthy project. I asked him to write this one since he’s there but he is unable, because he is there! Let me explain…

These past two months have been terribly challenging for Neabei and his family. They are hungry most of the time and must live in the crowded city of Monrovia.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia) During the most critical times Neabei and I have been in constant communication via Facebook messaging when he has a signal. At one point his fiancée was very ill with severe stomach and intestinal pains. They have no money to get help from a doctor and finally Neabei realized is was happening because she wouldn’t eat enough, was going long periods with no food. One of the saddest things is that Neabei and his father have a small farm in Tappita where they used to have a piggery and crops but the house and other structures were destroyed during the 14 years of civil war there and this forced them to migrate to the city.

Being on this side of the “pond”, in Costa Rica, I silently brainstormed how I could get help for Neabei and sent out a letter to a few people that were acquainted with him or had contacts in Afrika. A friend, another CEO of a non-profit in the UK, responded that she had  recently met a man from the Sustainability Institute in Liberia at a conference and gave me his contact info. I asked if he or someone could visit Neabei and his family, assess his situation and inform me so I'd know how to proceed.

Neabei received a call from the functionary saying he’d be over in 4 days for a visit but that was over two weeks ago, Neabei is still waiting.

There hasn’t been much word from Neabei the past week. I asked him to write the report over a week ago and he responded that he would try but didn’t know with the challenges he’s facing. Today he wrote saying it would be impossible and he has no camera. 

Did you know that 85% of the population in Liberia lives below the International Poverty Level due to the past civil wars? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia 

A camera is part of th peroject budget, so that Neabei will be able to keep us up to date with the progress of the “trees planting” at the University of Liberia. This project reaches much farther than the two hectares we plan to reforest because a large part includes national promotion and education, a green rebuilding of this war torn, defeated country with a proud and courageous people.

This is the opportunity so…LET’S GET PLANTING!

This is what they can have if we Get Planting!
This is what they can have if we Get Planting!

Links:

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