Reforesting the Deforestation in Costa Rica

 
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Dec 20, 2014

GIVE {learning} For You

GIVE {nature}
GIVE {nature}

Since we still lack all of the funding for “Reforesting the Deforestation” and consequently have nothing to report I wanted to take this opportunity to give you a shout about the Year End Campaign we’ve been working so diligently on. You may not know about our beautiful Facebook page where you will find great information on how your donations are working to make a HUGE difference in the world on many different fronts.

Rather than just ask people to GIVE donations my colleague Gretchen and I decided to make the Year End Campaign a way we can GIVE back to you. We wanted to focus on all the different facets of LRFF’s work so each week we talk about one, like GIVE {nature}, GIVE {education}…etc. You can see each of the weekly “postcards” attached to this progress report. 

We’ve finished this weeks focus on the environmental education programs LRFF has implemented in the past 5 years and next week we will be posting and talking about GIVE {air}. You can see all of the posts here, so if you’d like to learn more about how your generosity is making a difference please check out our Facebook page and like us.

For the Year End bonus campaign at GlobalGiving we have been directing people to another project we have posted there, “It’s For The Monkeys and 60 School Children”. It’s a smaller project budget wise and area as well so we prioritized it to see if we could get it funded and also win the bonus prize GG is awarding. This month we received a call from a young man and his father who are interested in taking the project as their own and fundraise at the son’s school to come up with the balance needed to plant the project. Not only that but the students (5) will come down to La Reserva with their parents to help plant the project.

LRFF's new website also went live this month and we are very proud of it, go check it out. http://lrff.org

Hope your holiday season is FULL joy and that you have much success in the coming year. Thank you for supporting us throughout 2014. Bless. 

LET’S GET PLANTING!

GIVE {education} = Give the Future
GIVE {education} = Give the Future
GIVE {air}
GIVE {air}
GIVE {jobs}
GIVE {jobs}

Links:

Sep 22, 2014

16 Trees in 1 Minute

Angel planting with care and joy
Angel planting with care and joy

LRFF has planted over 8000 trees in the past two months. We have confidence that soon we will be planting this project, "Reforesting the Deforestation" as a sequel to our latest success. Here's an update of our planting activities...who, where and how...don't miss the video link!

On the final day of planting "For The Monkeys", last of the Strack Transportation sponsored projects, we invited the student body of the Jardin de Niños in Delicias de Upala  to help us plant the last 150 trees. Gretchen, Jimmy and I arrived at the school early and we all marched down the street from the school to Elias Cruz's farm, about 50 meters. We picked up Octavio at the local police station, who wanted to be a part of the planting. 

The regular planting crew had a tough time digging the 150 holes fast enough to keep up with the kids distributing the trees and planting them. We also had 16 trees to plant, purchased by residents of the Commune Utopia in Second Life. We marched to another area of the planted corridor that had been set aside for the 16 trees and that's where the 16 trees planted in 1 minute video comes from. 

Santiago works for Elias on both his properties. We planted portions of both one in Chimurria and the other in Delicias, Upala. During the nursery growing and subsequent planting his wife, Trina, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Santiago was very proud of the fencing and planting work he was instrumental in. He was Jimmy's right hand man. Trina passed away two days after the children finished the planting in July. Gretchen caught the magical moment when a beautiful butterfly landed on Santi's arm and didn't want to leave (see photos).

Daniel Spreen, President and Co-Founder of LRFF/CR, was unable to participate in the planting or pre-planting activities due to a serious illness. There were shovels and plastic boxes that we'd left out in Delicias the final day because they were still needed by the planting crew to finish up. Two weeks after the last trees were planted Dan felt well enough to travel and we went to recover the equipment and plant four trees for another resident and follower of LRFF in Second Life.

Jimmy and Yamileth planted trees for Brugos, we loaded up and all left one last time on the most excellent road trip back home to La Reserva. Most excellent because of the amazing landscape. West between the narrow valley between two massive volcanoes, Miravalles and Tenorio, then south on a well traveled dirt road to Tierras Morenas and Lake Arenal where the La Reserva Forest Foundation is headquartered in Costa Rica.   

The perfect ending to an amazing journey...from our first meeting with Matt Strack 1 1/2 years ago to the climax of actually getting all of his trees in the ground (9500+). Thanks to all of you and to you Matt for believing in LRFF and taking responsibility for the GHG emissions your businesses activities generate.  

Tree planters heading o
Tree planters heading o
Octavio with three planters
Octavio with three planters
Passing out trees to waiting hands
Passing out trees to waiting hands
Women planting, HOT
Women planting, HOT
Santiago with friend in magical moment
Santiago with friend in magical moment
One more tree planted
One more tree planted
Hard work hauling trees to plant
Hard work hauling trees to plant
Daniel, making a comeback
Daniel, making a comeback
Jimmy and Yami planting Brugo
Jimmy and Yami planting Brugo's trees

Links:

Jun 23, 2014

And The Work Continues...

Doing inventory at the Chimurria property
Doing inventory at the Chimurria property

This past week we had nine volunteers at La Reserva on Thursday, June 19th, the peak day. John Witter, our most excellent volunteer from Illinois, accompanied me on my last inventory for the Strack Transportation sponsored projects we began planting at the end of September 2013 on the Gonzalez property in La Fortuna. Here’s his report… 

Roberta Ward Smiley with volunteer John Witter and Maleku Jimmy Acosta Elizondo traveled to Chimurria de Upala to inventory Elias Cruz’s nursery. In total there are 1899 trees of 38 different species. More trees will be acquired from Elias other nursery in Delicias de Upala to obtain a wider variety of species. Jimmy suggested we take a look at the planting area once more before planting begins on June 23rd. With Elias’ son we walked and measured the planting site for the project. The site is a strip of land with many banana trees 690+ meters long and a width of less than 10 meters before reaching swamp. After crossing approximately 200 meters of swamp, there is more land to plant trees. Another thin strip of land across the swamp is more than 1200 meters. The entire area of the planting site is about 2 hectares.

John is being very humble because it was a “swamp run”. When Jimmy and I first surveyed the project it was during the dry season in March. We walked along the high ground/strip of land and on the left there was a swampy, slow moving river and the other side was a pasture. Now that it’s rainy season the pasture on the left side is filled with at least 2 feet of water and the strip of land that we’ll plant this month is covered with a type of saw grass. As we walked along the land we dodged old banana plants and got cut on our arms by the grass. After the 690+ meter point we had to ford about 200 meters of swamp, up to our hips in some places. None of us were prepared, we were wearing leather boots, tennis shoes and Crocs. John never complained once, none of us did, but we were glad to get back to Elias house.

Next we traveled to Elias farm in Delicias de Upala to inventory Santiago’s nursery. There are over 4,000 trees among 94 different species. It was touching to see how proud Santiago was of the large variety of species he was able to find. We talked to him early on about how to collect a vast array of species easily and Jimmy went over to help him “see”. All total we will plant over 6000 trees in the next couple of weeks. J

We are waiting to implement the Reforesting the Deforestation project because that would be 42,000 trees (42 has.), 7 times the area and amount of trees in this project. I love the fieldwork and love to share these stories with you to give you a feel for our on the ground work. And the work continues…

LET’S GET PLANTING!!

LRFF Volunteers, June 2014
LRFF Volunteers, June 2014
Walking Elias planting site at Delicias
Walking Elias planting site at Delicias
Santiago and his family
Santiago and his family

Links:

Mar 24, 2014

A Recent Visit to the Area

Planting day Rio Piedras, June 2009
Planting day Rio Piedras, June 2009

     LRFF had a distinguished visitor the first week of March, Ronald Jones. Ron contacted us almost one year ago wanting to know about our organization, the projects we have implemented and plan to implement (like this one), he was especially interested in the "payments for environmental" services model LRFF uses as an incentive for landowners to partner with us and reforest small parts of their farms.   

     I drove Ron to all of the projects in the area that we have replanted in the last 4 years. One in particular really blew our mind...over in Rio Piedras, we planted in June 2009. My eyes must have bugged out of my head because where once was old, unproductive, sickly cow pasture is now a multi-species forest. See the photo! He was amazed like everyone at how quickly the forests return in the tropical environment. 

     We traveled to Guatuso one full day and drove past the "Reforesting the Deforestation" project property. LRFF also has another project of 15 hectares with six different landowners in the same area, "Restoring Forests to Guatuso". Our destination was Upala where Elias Cruz is reforesting a six hectare biological corridor "For The Monkeys" on parts of two different farms. We needed to inspect his tree nurseries because this project will be planted when the rainy season comes, July or June. This project is a Global Giving success story like so many of our projects because it was partially funded by generous donors via GG and through that exposure Strack Premier Transportation in Los Angeles, California found us and funded the rest of the project. 

     Ron and I also met with the Maleku Tribal Council, saw the Rio Sol Biological Corridor project where 35,000 trees (more than 100 native species) were planted in a continuous corridor along the river that passes through all three Maleku villages. On the ride back from the nurseries we passed over Rio Celeste and Ron thought the river was contaminated but we explained that's why it's callled Rio Celeste because of it's incredible turqoiuse blue color. The photo below is downriver from the famous waterfalls where the waters are dark turqoise blue from the sulphur content. 

     By the time Ron left he pledged to work/partner with LRFF in Costa Rica to help us plant 1,000,000 trees in the next 7 years. This project, 42,000 trees, will be the first one we implement if all of our plans come to fruition. You can continue to help us out, don't wait, by sharing this report and the project link with your friends and family. Give us a shout out on Face and Twitter, we are making a difference entirely from donations that go directly into planting trees. So come on...

LET"S GET PLANTING!

March 2014, see the house? Rio Piedras same area
March 2014, see the house? Rio Piedras same area
Traditional Maleku Upal (rancho)
Traditional Maleku Upal (rancho)
Maleku Council meeting in the rancho
Maleku Council meeting in the rancho
Entrance to the Maleku indigenous peoples reserve
Entrance to the Maleku indigenous peoples reserve
One of Elias Cruz
One of Elias Cruz's nursery
Rio Celeste
Rio Celeste

Links:

Dec 24, 2013

We Keep On Planting

The honorary sign we place for you
The honorary sign we place for you

This project is our favorite and all of you who have donated to it know why, “Reforesting the Deforestation” is doing just that…bringing the forest back to an area that was deforested just three decades ago by the same families. During that time the wildlife have been on the sidelines trying to survive by eking out a living. We’ve seen it time and time again, within months after the deforested area is planted the wildlife begin to return. One of LRFF mottos is “Plant it and they will come”.

We want you to know that while we wait for the full funding on this particular project, our favorite, we aren’t sitting on our hands doing nothing. Just today, December 24, 2013 we planted four families (4 trees/family) and one grove of trees (15) here at La Reserva in Costa Rica. See the photos and video.

This is one the most popular fundraising options for our followers. It is such an honor and so rewarding to give the “gift of life”. Even longer than one human life is the life of most trees. For Christmas we encourage people to plant a tree for a loved one and begin restoring our Earth rather than purchasing more plastic, electronics and other “stuff” that use finite resources in their manufacture. It’s just supporting the unending consumer mentality, a killer for our planet.

Not only that, this month we finished planting almost 4000 trees on two earlier projects we had posted on Global Giving, “Educational Reforestation” (800 trees) and “Rio Sol, Across the River” (3000 trees). You can see the reports on all of this on our Facebook page and their project pages here at Global Giving.

So as you can see/read we are not sitting around waiting. It’s amazing as soon as one stops worrying about “how” to do something without the resources all the resources and help show up at your door. That’s how the universe work, bless.

Let’s Get Planting!

Planting your tree in Costa Rica
Planting your tree in Costa Rica
Loading trees to plant the Rio Sol project
Loading trees to plant the Rio Sol project
A rare Acacia tree planted last Xmas at LRFF, now
A rare Acacia tree planted last Xmas at LRFF, now

Links:

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Organization

La Reserva Forest Foundation

Tilaran, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
http://www.lrff.org

Project Leader

Roberta Ward Smiley

Project Leader
Tilaran, Guanacaste Costa Rica

Where is this project located?