Jun 24, 2021

Beyond the Forest Tour App

Sample page from new Forest bilingual website
Sample page from new Forest bilingual website

With the Forest Tour App up and running -- and most of the feedback absolutely positive -- the Forest continues the project in a slightly different form and undertakes new initiatives to facilitate contributing to the Forest's function as an outdoor environmental classroom and an education resource  -- online and on-site.

To reflect developments over the past three years, including the creation of the tour app, we have embarked upon a total revamping of our bilingual website (pterocarpus.org) to add more information about the visits to the Forest and the availablility of the application (on line and on-site) and answers to the most frequently asked questions received in e-mails and phone calls. The new website should be launched within the next six weeks.

Finally, we've been adding more content more frequently to our social media, to enable visitors near and afar to have an encounter with tour rare Forest econsystem.  We revived an informational audio-visual, "Did you know...???" (¿Sabías qué……?)that each week focuses on interesting facts about a different species of flora and fauna found in the Forest (alternately on Tuesday and Thursdays).  We're also creating a new Instagram page that tells the story of the Forest in vivid, colorful ways for those who tend to frequent that app more so than Facebook or Twitter, the other platforms where the Forest has had a significant presence. And we continue to tweet items of interest to lovers of the Forest and friends of nature.

All of these undertakings have been made possible by the support of friends of the Forest like you.  Thank you and we look forward to seeing you at the Forest!

Mar 15, 2021

Mission Accomplished! Mision Cumplida!

Since mid-June 2020, when the Forest reopened after Puerto Rico’s first Covid-19 lockdown, visitors have returned in large numbers to the Forest. Our Forest Tour Application app project, however, became the primary focus of our efforts, as this project has been amply delayed by Covid and other factors. It has since been launched. The focus on completing the Tour App also responded to the shortfall in revenue from this campaign. Since our last report in early November 2020 we had not received any new donations.

To revitalize and re-energize the Help us help Nature project, we reconfigured the campaign and launched a new “microproject”, An Inspiring and Beautiful Symbol of Hope, Recovery and Renewal, to coincide with #GivingTuesday 2020 (December 1). The core project remained the same, with messaging centered on how the renaissance of the Forest after hurricanes Irma and María can and should inspire us in these times of turmoil. We also emphasized how contributing to the Forest tree planting project represented an investment in a beautiful, bountiful future.

What better symbol of hope than a renascent Pterocarpus Forest – a survivor of Hurricanes María and Irma – that can serve as an inspiration to our visitors, and a beautiful symbol of hope, recovery and renewal in these trying times.

That campaign raised over $8,500 by mid-January. With the previous gifts and the collaboration of the Palmas Homeowners’ Association, we were able to meet the goals for this project and purchase and plant the following trees:Almácigo, Caoba Dominicana, Malagueta, Maria, Pterocarpus Officinalis, Roble Rosado, Roble Sabana, Roble Venezolano and Saúco.

We are considering retiring this project and replacing it with an ongoing program of general operating support, with a significant portion of the funds raised being earmarked for a “Forest Endowment Fund”, to insure the long-term availability of financial resources for Forest conservation and maintenance and educational programming. We will keep you informed, of course. Thank you!

Feb 24, 2021

The Pterocarpus Forest Tour App is up and running

You can now visit the Pterocarpus Forest on your phone!

As reported in our report at the end of October 2020, the Forest Tour App has been completed and is now available. We are now able to offer a better, more complete encounter with a rare Pterocarpus Forest through this bilingual phone application.

Due to unabated concerns about Covid 19 a previously planned, celebration and fundraising activity and media event, postponed in 2020 and rescheduledfor the spring 2021, will not be held.

Despite the fact that the on-site launch has been postponed, the App has been made available to the visiting public on site and is downloadable on Google Play and the Mac App Store, for Android phones and iPhones only, as "Pterocarpus Forest".

The App includes an evaluation and donation section. Thus far, users of the App (on site) have given it very positive reviews as has been the word-of-mouth feedback. The donation section has yet to produce results, but we are hopeful that that will be another result. We hope to include new signage on-site, using a QR Code, so that visitors can make immediate donations in support of our efforts, whether they’ve used the App during their visit or not.

The App is a dynamic educational tool, so that you can expect periodic content changes and technological improvements to help the visitor better appreciate natural change within and around the Pterocarpus Forest.

Finally, an updated version of the story about the existence and availability of the App in the magazine Live & Life in Palmas in October,has been converted to a press release, with dissemination expected between now and the end of March 2021 in traditional and social media.

We again thank our friends and supporters for their assistance in making the Forest Tour App a reality.

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