Dec 21, 2020

2020 Environmental Education at home

The environmental educational program carried out 26 Earth Festivals during the month of February and in the first days of March and held community meetings to engage the community in conserving our green patrimony.  We had planned to hold reforestation activities in school yards and with communities this year, but because of the COVD-19 with schools closed, we only performed reforestation activities with communities. 

Thanks to our partners Earth Day Network, we were able to deliver 30,000 trees to 58 communities.  The trees delivered included; White Cedar, Red Cedar, Ash, Jacaranda, White leadtree, Pink poui, Chinaberry Tree, Privet, Mexican fan palm, Miniature date palm, Bottle palm.

We have continued to do outreach to children and young people even though schools are closed, by providing materials to teachers, who send weekly homework packets home with parents.  These have included posters featuring pollinators and biodiversity coloring books with the flora and fauna of the Sierra Gorda.

We have also painted eight murals related to preventing forest fires, saving water, caring for birds and biodiversity, run weekly radio programs, and published to social media in order to raise awareness of how privileged the 100,000 of us are to live here, in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve.  And the need to respect this natural protected area, and our personal responsibility to prevent forest fires. 

Our objective is to make communities aware of our shared natural wealth and all of the services green areas provide; counteracting global warming, producing food, providing bird habitat, improving water capture and creating microclimates.

We are grateful to Earth Day Network for their support and to you all for helping us reach communities during this unprecedented year.  

Oct 1, 2020

New species found in the Sierra Gorda, once again!

With the arrival of the rainy season, we were able to stop worrying about forest fires and focus our efforts on monitoring and protecting the reserves.  We are working on the maintenance of our fences in the most distant parts of the reserve and interacting with our neighboring landowners.  After an initial shaky start to the rainy season, this September brought abundant rain, ending the dry spell that persisted in 2018 and 2019.  The rivers and streams and waterfalls are following which means fauna in the various reserves have ample access to water.  Vegetation is also recuperating from the long drought.  This is especially evident in the area affected by the great fire of 2019, of the Hoya Verde reserve where we are seeing abundant regeneration of oaks and pines.

New growth can also represent additional combustible material in the next fire season (in 2021) which is why we are planning and coordinating to have a strong unified front with the same members of the firefighting brigade this coming year.  We project having them operational during the 4 most critical months of the dry season.

Fortunately, despite the pandemic, the monitoring and the protection of the reserves have not been interrupted.  This is because in many cases the monitoring is undertaken by individuals, alone, or by a group of park rangers, who can easily maintain a safe distance from one another.

Our hidden cameras caught captures of pumas, pacas, brocket deer, and collared peccary since our last report when we sent images caught on tape of a black bear and a jaguar.

We have the honor of announcing that in one of the reserves we found a healthy and robust population of two species new to science, the cactus Mammillaria rzewdowskiana (with a highly restricted distribution), a true daughter of our limestone mountains, and a new agave, Agave muxii.  It never ceases to amaze us year after year, we keep finding new species in the Sierra Gorda.  We see clearly that our reserves are islands of biodiversity of the highest value.  That we have an enormous responsibility to protect them at all costs.  In the Sierra Gorda, we say NO to the massive wave of extinction that is decimating life on our planet.  We thank you on behalf of this vast voiceless biodiverse community for your support and generosity. 

Aug 21, 2020

Support Young Environmental Leaders in Mexico

First of all we´d like to thank our supporters for voting for our project during the 2020 Photo Contest campaign by GlobalGiving. 

A special thanks to those who signed up to recieve these reports, tripling the impact of your vote. 

Since March 18th schools in our state of Querétaro have been closed.  As a result we have been preparing an online curriculum for teachers to teach their students about environment in an online format.

We have also been sharing some didactic materials online, through our social media channels, fr parents to use with their students at home. 

In order to continue our work on the campaign to minimze solid waste in the Sierra Gorda, we have been in contact with officials and vendors from the five municipalities (Jalpan de Sierra, Landa de Matamors, Pinal de Amoles, Peñamiller, and Arroyo Seco).  We have recommended that vendors use reusable materials for packaging rather than one time use disposable ones where possible. 

In the different markets and commercial centers we have hung signs about not using single use plastic bags, proper trash disposal, separating trash from recycling and organic materials, and how to start your own compost. 

We distributed reusable bags to merchants so they can spread awareness of the campaign to their customers. 

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