The “Engaging Minds: Planting Trees, Inspiring Youth” project is a great example of the incredible ancillary benefits that reforestation efforts can deliver while bringing together collaborators from all over the world to support a common cause. “Engaging Minds” isn’t just about planting 800 trees after all – it’s also about the critical services that those trees provide to people (like sequestering and storing carbon), the food and shelter they offer to native fauna (like sloths), and the amazing educational opportunities that planting projects can offer to local people.
The last point is especially significant for “Engaging Minds,” because this project integrates children from the local elementary school, Jardin de Niños, in every step of the project. Students will attend a presentation about LRFF’s work and the importance of Costa Rica’s forests before helping in the collection, care and planting of seedlings. Not only will students learn some valuable lessons about conservation and ecology, but as the future policymakers, users and caretakers of Costa Rica’s forests, the students’ involvement is also critical for the sustainability of reforestation projects countrywide.
Microsoft’s YouthSpark program recognizes the importance of providing young people with these fundamental educational and life experiences, providing funding to projects like “Engaging Minds” to support the training of youth around the world. This means that when you donate to projects like this, your dollars will go even further thanks to matching funds provided by Microsoft.
Our experience with students has only reinforced this important relationship between youth and conservation. At another of our project sites this past July, we set out with 50 children from a local elementary school and planted over 150 trees in just 45 minutes. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and we can’t wait to get back in the field to provide local youth with another planting opportunity.
For these reasons, when you contribute to “Engaging Minds,” you’re helping to support one of our favorite types of projects here at La Reserva Forest Foundation… and we think it’s one of your favorites too! Since we posted this project just three months ago, we’ve already received 11 donations and over $900 in funding. This means we’re well on our way to our $2,048 goal!
However, we still need your continued help and support to get this project fully funded so that the children of Jardin de Niños can have a hands-on educational experience and just one more piece of Costa Rica’s valuable tropical forests can begin to recover.
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