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.
We finished the planting of Project Hometree on October 1st, 2010. The last week of planting was amazingly wet but the crew kept at it, covered in rain gear. I think this tropical storm was named Nicole.
8000 native tree seedlings representing 84 different species were planted over the past five weeks. In the photo above are the senior members of the crew. Eli, at right, will be 75 years old this year. He didn’t miss a day, chopping the thick African grass with his machete, digging holes and, planting trees.
Last Thursday, when the Project Hometree crew finished the planting, we passed 11,800 trees planted so far in 2010. That’s almost 2000 more that 2009 already. Thanks to all of you and your great generosity we have been able to surpass last years total. Let’s keep up the good work and restore more forests yet, this year.The photos tell the story of planting Project Hometree. Enjoy!
This week, October 4th, the same crew, minus Eli, is out maintaining all of the other LRFF reforestation sites. When they finish they will return again to Project Hometree for the projects first maintenance. We always try to come back soon after the planting for first maintenance because the new seedlings need attention. After that first cleaning they go on the normal four time yearly maintenance. My friend Michele and I were talking today, envisioning the future. With all the new projects we’ve embarked upon there will probably be a crew out doing maintenance full time.
LET’S KEEP ‘EM PLANTING!
Yes, that’s right, there are now babies in the ground, trees that is. We have finished the tenth day of work on Project Hometree and have 3500 native seedlings, representing 84 species, in the ground.
On Monday, Ross Nicholson, a LRFF board member in the United States, came by to plant 50 trees and see the progress. The embarrassing part is that none of us took any pictures of him getting dirty.
Last week, at the start of the project, the workers were cutting rows in the deep, matted grass. By the third day they began to plant. Half of the crew digs holes for the trees while the other half fill wheelbarrows with a wide variety of species up at the nursery. The wheelbarrows are hauled down to the rows, the trees are set in the holes still in their nursery bags and the hole diggers return to slit the bags open and plant each tree. See all of the photos I took today.
The rains have been torrential and steady for weeks now. It’s been a great week for planting. Most of the trees haven’t suffered much shock.
Every Friday Omar, La Reserva’s field manager for 8 years cries for a cold beer for all of the workers. I buy them tall cans and keep them ice cold. It puts a lilt in their step that’s for sure and ………
KEEPS EM PLANTING!
Yesterday, August 30, 2010, we began work on Project Hometree here at La Reserva.
Thank you to the McConachie family from Austin, Texas who were instrumental in completing the funding and to all of you who donated generously to this project. Because of you 8000 native trees are being planted, restoring eight hectares of tropical forest and increasing the habitat for the ever-increasing fauna at La Reserva.
The crew of workers worked yesterday and today cutting rows with machetes in the deeply meshed African grass. Today we brought some of the extra species we needed from the ICE (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad) nursery.
The workers shoulders were tired this afternoon from chopping the past two days. Now that all of the species are assembled they will have a couple of days hauling them in wheelbarrows to the planting site and planting them.
Please be sure to see the photos, they tell the story better than words. We will keep you informed of our progress.
We had many visitors at La Reserva during the month of July. One family, long time supporters of LRFF, came for two days of hiking in the reserve. On Friday, they revered Papa Loco, saw and heard many monkeys and birds. That night we all shared pizzas and played cards.
This family came to La Reserva in Costa Rica for the first time in July of 2007 as tourists. The three boys were younger, the youngest unable to make the entire hike with his mother. The father was so inspired that he went back home in the U.S. came out of retirement and began a carbon offset company. Now, three years later, his company has many qualified employees and is, in fact, two different companies working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through renewable energy projects, forestry and a new digital grid system for energy use reduction.
On Saturday morning we went over to the seedling nursery. I explained that we can’t plant more trees in the nursery until we have a project to plant them on because over time they become rooted in the soil at the bottom of the bags and are damaged when removed from the nursery. The 8000+ individuals currently in the nursery are waiting to be planted in Project Hometree when it is funded. We have three months of planting season left. Mom and Dad put their heads together and said they would like to finish the funding on this project enabling us to get planting right away.
As we wait for their donation and the ensuing “success” progress report, here are a few photos of our friend, Heather Armstrong, who volunteered at La Reserva in June. She is largely responsible for the healthy new inventory at the La Reserva nursery. Omar La Reserva’s nursery manager, was her best buddy, teaching her about collecting tropical trees and their propagation.
It is imperative this project be planted by November this year. It is 8 hectares of reforestation and in 5 years will be a young viable forest, responsible for sequestering a minimum of 120 metric tons of CO2 per year from our Earth’s atmosphere. The trees in the nursery, the animals in the existing forest wanting to increase and all of us, the volunteer planters, are waiting for YOU, our supporters, to help us implement this project.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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