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 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:

Oct 28, 2013

Consider This

Planting day, 12/2011 at Viento Fresco, Guatuso
Planting day, 12/2011 at Viento Fresco, Guatuso

We have been interested in submitting an application to the Whitley Award Foundation in the UK for a couple of years now but never got around to it. This year, in fact just four days ago, we submitted our application for the 2014 Whitley Award.

The award honors a person, that would be me, but is actually a grant for a project and the funding must be used within one year from receiving the prize. The prize is £35,000 or about $57,000 (USD).  Matt Lee, President of LRFF/US, and I worked for a couple of months on the application and in the beginning we only wanted to apply to fund the feasibility study on the forest carbon project we’ve had developed for 5 years now. But that’s only $15,000…we had to figure out some other projects to fund and voila we thought of “Reforesting Guatuso”.

The funding would be disbursed next May or June but after the finalists are announced later this year each makes a trip to the UK. If LRFF does receive notification of the prize we can get the landowners started with their nurseries at the beginning of 2014 so that planting can begin as soon as the funding is received in May or June. 

Since you are a part of this project, you’ve contributed generously and helped make it happen, I want you to consider putting this award and potential implementation of “Reforesting Guatuso” in the back of your mind, send us positive vibrations. Why, my friend, Cagan Sekercioglu has won the Whitley Award twice, in 2008 and this year he was the Gold Award winner. Number one alumnus of the award and he does the same sort of work as LRFF is doing, connecting forested areas working with local landowners for the benefit of birds, wildlife, plants and climate change mitigation.

Hey, I already feel the vibes comin’ this way.

LET’S GET PLANTING!

Quarterly inspection, 10/2013. What progress!
Quarterly inspection, 10/2013. What progress!

Links:

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