Sep 15, 2020

Forests 4 Water reinventing itself

Local volunteers helping in the nursery
Local volunteers helping in the nursery

Dear Forest Guardians 

How are you doing? 

Here in the forest, we’re still in partial lockdown on account of covid19. 

And since we have no volunteers (who are always a HUGE help,) and haven’t had any since March, we’re seriously short of helping hands. Which means that everything is affected: our forest restoration program, our forest nursery, our site maintenance, and gardening, and our farm visits.    

But the Iracambi team is back working in person - observing strict safety protocols, of course. And now is the moment to reinvent our programs and keep going. 

So let’s give you the good news from this quarter since behind every crisis there’s an opportunity and doors are always opening. It’s a good moment for reflection and finding some inner peace, right?  

Planting

After a cold snap that froze our fingers and toes, it’s now boiling hot. Could that be anything to do with climate change? That’s a long conversation for another time…. 

But I’m really happy to report that, after a long period of rural exodus, our mountain community is growing again. Young people are buying land round here and the cool thing is that they all have great plans; reforestry, agroecology, and working together.  

This year we’re aiming to plant 4500-5000 native species seedlings and, in this rural community of  Graminha, we already have a list of people wanting to help us with the planting:  Carla, Leandro, Luiz, Bruno, Everaldo, and more. Maybe we’ll be able to plant a new forest corridor?  

And now for a newsflash. This is likely to be the last time you’ll hear directly from me, Arielle. I was recently promoted to the post of Project Coordinator and we’ve hired a new forestry coordinator: Alfredo. Maybe some of you already know him – he was born and raised here in Graminha. He knows everyone, he’s a good communicator, and we’re training him up on the job. We decided to hire someone from the community (like me, I was born in Rosário da Limeira) and I feel that the fact that I’m from the local community helps a lot when looking for people to help with the planting. Since it’s a community project, what better than having a community member running it?  

But don’t worry, you’ll still see me in the photos and taking part in the activities! 

This month of September, Alfredo, Deivid, and I will start visiting the farms (we’ll be wearing our masks and socially distancing, and sadly the usual coffee and chatting will have to wait until the pandemic is over!)  

Forest nursery 

We recently started having a handful of volunteers from the local community on Thursdays to help in the nursery. And this has been a great help since there is so much to do, weeding, filling bags for the seedlings, walking the forest trails to collect seeds, planting seeds – as you know there’s plenty of work and it’s all delightful in the fresh air!  

We’ve also been sprucing up the nursery, the water tank was about to fall down so Deivid worked with builder Milton to fix it. We also mowed the grass and the place looks wonderful.  Over the past weeks,  we collected seeds from ten different species, avocado, papaya, custard apple, and others, dug a lot of earth for filling the bags, carried on composting, germinated the seeds, made 2000 seedlings, kept up the watering (every second day) cleared out the weeds, and made a list of all the seedlings ready for the planting season. 

And we also managed to keep up with the monitoring. We keep in touch with the farmers to see how they are doing, whether they need anything, and we ask them to send us photos of the areas they reforested – so that we can ensure they are looking after the trees! But we’re longing to return to our normal activities, and see the survival rate, which species adapt best, how the seedlings are growing, whether they are being attacked by ants, and so on.  Check out the photos they sent. (And please forgive the quality of the photos – that depends on the farmers’ level of skill!)   

And so, dear donors, we want to thank you once again for your support. As you know, we couldn’t do it without you. The rainforest thanks you! And we’re now sending out a brand new monthly newsletter. Check our latest edition, and please sign up by clicking here.

And we wish you all good health and lots of courage,

Much love, 

Arielle and the Iracambi team 

Seeds collected
Seeds collected
Monitoring at Mr. Wilson
Monitoring at Mr. Wilson

Links:

Sep 15, 2020

Support to local schools during COVID19

Young EcoLeader with her prize
Young EcoLeader with her prize

Dear donors, 

Well, we’re still here, caring for peoples’ health, and really hoping that everything will soon return to a new normal! Our team is back working together (observing strict safety protocols,) but we’re still not able to work directly with the children. 

With the schools closed and no timeline for returning, we are working with the teachers to contribute as best we can to their online activities – which are challenging to both teachers and students alike! 

Our team is helping with the content of the science curriculum by sending fortnightly science lessons which include practical activities for the students to carry out at home. 

Up to now, we’ve sent four leaflets on the following topics: the water cycle, the physical state of materials, living and non-living organisms, and, latterly, naming the parts of a plant. And we gave prizes to students who completed all the activities, to encourage even more students to participate.  

We also produced videos for the Environmental Council in Muriaé to celebrate Earth Day (which, in Brazil, falls in June,) as well as participating in a Facebook live event with a lawyer from the neighboring town of Ervália, to discuss the challenges of protecting our region, the Serra do Brigadeiro. 

Over the past weeks, our team has also taken part in online training and planning to improve the results of our projects. And we’re now sending out a brand new monthly newsletter. Check our latest edition, and please sign up here.  

And lastly, we’re creating an online course for training environmental leaders! We’ll be launching it soon and we plan to start working with the first cohort before the end of the year. The course will be open to youth from across Brazil and will include dynamic content to stimulate participation and practical activities that can be undertaken to mitigate climate change in the different regions. 

We’re hoping devoutly that, by the time we next send you a report, things will have improved and we’ll be safely back at our normal activities. 

And once again, we want to send a big thank you to you all for supporting our project, 

With rainforest love, 

Marina and The Iracambi Team 

Our leaflet about naming the parts of a plant
Our leaflet about naming the parts of a plant
Young EcoLeader with her prize
Young EcoLeader with her prize

Links:

Sep 1, 2020

Deivid's answer to prayer.....

Deivid praying for a miracle!
Deivid praying for a miracle!

Dear donors!

We hope you are all doing well and holding up during these hard times? We’d like to send you lots of love and many thanks for your support over the past few months. We really appreciate your support as together we restore this magnificent rainforest.

As we told you, we’ve been in semi lockdown, but, as you know, the work of reforesting never stops. Our nursery manager Deivid has been hard at work collecting seeds, planting and caring for seedlings, and hoping and praying for a miracle. He has 6400 seedlings of 36 varieties in the nursery, all ready for planting season in November/December once the rains have come, and he's rushed off his feet trying to stay on top of everything.

Our forestry coordinator Arielle, who has been keeping you up to date on our reforestation news, has now transitioned into project coordination and we've just hired a new forestry coordinator to oversee this year's planting. His name is Alfredo, he was born and raised in the local community, and we have great hopes that he will succeed in promoting ever more widely the practice of reforesting on degraded areas.

Remember we told you that Deivid was praying for a miracle? Well, he just had an answer to prayer. The lockdown is relaxing somewhat, and we’re now allowed to host small groups of local volunteers to help out with the thousand and one jobs on his To-Do list! We’ve had no resident students and volunteers since March, so, as you can imagine, he is overjoyed to have more helping hands! 

We’re planning year-end planting as we speak, and really looking forward to getting those trees into the ground, because even with the COVID19 crisis we're not going to stop planting. We have a planet to save, right?
And we couldn’t do it without your help, so please, please keep supporting our program. Mother Nature is super grateful, and so are we!

rainforest love, and please take care, 

Deivid, Arielle and Iracambi team 

PS If you'd like to subscribe to our newsletter, please click here

seeds
seeds
Arielle in the nursery
Arielle in the nursery
Nursery volunteers - Deivid's prayer answered!
Nursery volunteers - Deivid's prayer answered!

Links:

 
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