Nov 3, 2020

The adventures of a little drop of water

Claudineia Eco Leader
Claudineia Eco Leader

Dear donors,

Greetings from Iracambi and we hope you are all staying safe?

This week we wanted to give you a sneek peak at the science curriculum material we’ve been sharing with our local schoolchildren who are all still in lockdown. 

Here’s a translation of one of our lessons - about the water cycle. We invited the kids to color in the illustrations and share the story with their parents, so that they could learn together.

Once upon a time there was a little drop of water who lived inside a cloud which was drifting above a forest at Iracambi. And this is his story.

“My life began in the ocean, where I was just a drop of water among an immensity of salty water. When the temperature rose, I started to lose some of the salt, and I became more transparent and felt lighter. And I was transformed into vapor and started floating into the sky. I flew for miles and miles and I learned that the areas of land in the ocean are called continents and that’s where humans live. Some of them are covered with white stuff called snow which I learned is when water vapor freezes solid. 

And then the wind blew me onto a cloud, and the cloud grew more and more heavy and more and more dark, and I began to transform into liquid and started falling towards the earth as a drop of rain. And I fell onto the crown of a tall tree and I ran down its trunk and into the earth, down and down until I hit a body of water, called an aquifer.

And as more and more raindrops joined me, together we began to bubble up through the earth and become a spring. And we kept running into a larger body of moving water called a river. And since the river was running through Iracambi and it was a hot day, I began to become transparent and lighter and I rose up through the air and moved back into a cloud. And as I looked down, I saw a class of children at Iracambi, learning about the forest and learning about the water cycle.

In our next letter we’ll share some of the reactions of the kids to this lesson. They loved it!

In the meantime, stay safe, and thank you, thank you, for supporting us as we support the Eco Leaders who will become the future guardians of the planet!

With love from Marina and the Iracambi team

Iracambi water cycle lesson
Iracambi water cycle lesson
water cycle illustrated
water cycle illustrated

Links:

Nov 3, 2020

The Hummingbird Forest

Checking out the seeds
Checking out the seeds

Olá, dear donors! 

We do hope you are all doing well in these times of change, and holding steady and safe? As winter approaches in the northern hemisphere, here in the south we are moving into spring – lots of rain, a wonderful smell of wet earth, birds nesting everywhere and trees coming into leaf.

And our forestry team is hard at work planning this season’s planting. Along with other planting sites, this year we have some exciting news about a brand new forest. It will be part of a forest corridor along a river bank, and we’re calling it the Hummingbird Forest.

Now why did we choose that name?   

Do you remember the story of the hummingbird and the forest fire? The little hummingbird with a drop of water in her beak flying towards the fire just as all the other animals are fleeing as fast as they can? The eagle laughs at her, and tells her she’ll never put out the fire all by herself. And the hummingbird drops the water onto the fire and, looking up at the eagle, she says, “I’ll never put it out all by myself. But I’m doing my part.”  

That indigenous story is what inspires us to get out of bed in the mornings and do our part. And as you know, a lot of what we do is restoring the beautiful rainforest. So, in honor of one our corporate partners and one of our donors, we’re getting ready to plant the Hummingbird Forest, and we’re inviting anyone and everyone who wants to join us to contribute towards planting more and more trees in the new forest.

The Hummingbird Forest will act as a model of forest restoration, a living laboratory for the schoolkids once they are allowed to come back and visit, a research site for students, and a woodland path for visitors. We’ll be documenting its progress, sharing details with you, and sending pictures of the forest site. Deivid and Alfredo are already separating seedlings in the forest nursery, and we’ll get planting just as soon as we can.

So we want to send lots of rainforest love, and thank you so much for supporting us. We can’t wait to share pictures of the Hummingbird Forest!  Look after yourselves and stay safe,

Deivid, Alfredo and the Iracambi Tree Planters  

PS We’ll also be planting a tree in the new forest in memory of one of our Iracambi students. If any of you would like us to plant a tree for someone special, for a new baby, for a birthday present, or in honor of a loved one, please let us know!  

Seedlings germinating nicely!
Seedlings germinating nicely!
Arielle and Alfredo visiting the farmers
Arielle and Alfredo visiting the farmers
Arielle and Alfredo visiting farmers
Arielle and Alfredo visiting farmers

Links:

Nov 3, 2020

Singing in the rain - a report from the front line

identifying seeds
identifying seeds

Dear Forest Guardians,

Greetings from the rainforest and we hope you are staying safe. These are tough times, but one day they will pass, and the trees that you helped us plant will be flourishing. What a comforting thought!

In our last letter, we told you that the rains have arrived and that means that our forestry work is full-on! And because the rains have just recently arrived, we're still singing and not yet grumbling! 

Down in the nursery, we’re collecting seeds like crazy, identifying them, germinating them, and thinking about next year's forests. At the same time, we’re preparing this year’s planting and separating out the seedlings that are ready to be planted out. It’s always a bit of a shock for them to be thrown out into the big world, without the tender loving care to which they’ve become accustomed, so we’re starting the process of hardening them off.

Many of them will be planted on areas of degraded pasture, so we need to select species that can better tolerate sunlight, as well as a mixture of pioneer and climax species. Others will be planted in boggy areas so they need to able to tolerate having their feet wet (as it were!).

We’ve already started preliminary visits to the farms where we'll be reforesting, and we’re thrilled to report that in some cases we’ll be working in areas contiguous to secondary forests so that we’ll be creating and extending forest corridors. Great to extend the forest fragments and great to create corridors for habitat – this is exactly one of our main forest restoration goals.

And, one more thing. This year, because of covid19, we don’t have our usual resident crew of overseas students and volunteers. So we’re inviting local volunteers to join us for any period from a week to a month, to get involved in one of our best-loved activities. (All activities take place outdoors, and we'll be complying with local directives: being socially distanced and wearing masks.) Not only is tree planting a lot of fun, (yes, and a lot of hard work!) but it’s a great learning experience and a great way to make new friends. We’re just opening up volunteer opportunities, and so far we have a lot of interest. 

So we’ll sign off here, and in our next letter, we’ll tell you how our volunteer recruitment program is going. And we’ll also catch you up on our new initiative of setting up individual nurseries on individual farms.

Please take care of yourselves, and so many thanks for your support. Together we’re building the forests of the future!

With rainforest love from

Deivid and Alfredo (and Arielle, who, as we told you, just can’t stay away from the forestry programs!)

PS We wanted to just give you a quick heads up. One of the trees we'll be planting near the Center is in memory of one of our much loved Iracambistas. So, if you'd like us to plant a tree for a new baby, a birthday present, or in honor of someone special, please let us know!  

seeds we collected
seeds we collected
Alfredo and Deivid selecting seedlings
Alfredo and Deivid selecting seedlings

Links:

 
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