Engaging Minds: Planting Trees, Inspiring Youth

by La Reserva Forest Foundation
School children @ Delicias in July 2014
School children @ Delicias in July 2014

Dear GlobalGiving Donors,

I am sending this email out to all donors who made a contribution to the project: Engaging Minds, Inspiring Youth. It has recently come to our attention the project is no longer available to reforest with the school Jardín de los Niños. Through miscommunication between the landowner and LRFF over timelines and expectations, the landowner declined to participate further. This is an unfortunate situation since we worked hard at building the project and relationship with the participants. We also highly regard every donation you make and strive to use your contributions in a way that fulfills the intent of the gift.

However there is good news! We have another project in the works that needs to be funded: It’s for the Monkeys and 60 School Children. This project works with another school in the small village of Delicias de Upala, where the kids will reforest 1.5 hectares (3.75 acres) of forest which connects to an adjacent project planted earlier this year (2014). The adjacency of this project will expand the benefits of the last project by creating more continuous habitat for local wildlife. It also gives the children an opportunity to work on a reforestation project from beginning to end. If all of the donations from Engaging Minds, Inspiring Youth transfer to It’s for the Monkeys and 60 School Children project we will be a third of the way towards funding it.

We hope you all find this new project a great educational opportunity for another community as we work towards reclaiming the land for forests and wildlife. Please visit the project page for It’s for the Monkeys and 60 School Children to find out more information from reports and pictures at our last planting near the proposed site. Thank you for understanding and all of us here at La Reserva Forest Foundation appreciate the support and generosity of our donors and volunteers.

Let’s Keep Planting!



Roberta Ward Smiley

Founder and Executive Director 


Matthew Lee

Board President- LRFF US

Passing out trees to students in Delicias, July
Passing out trees to students in Delicias, July
The new property where the trees will be planted
The new property where the trees will be planted
Giving jobs tol community members and butterflies
Giving jobs tol community members and butterflies


Local Jardin de Ninos w/Papa Loco at LRFF reserve
Local Jardin de Ninos w/Papa Loco at LRFF reserve

The “Engaging Minds: Planting Trees, Inspiring Youth” project is a great example of the incredible ancillary benefits that reforestation efforts can deliver while bringing together collaborators from all over the world to support a common cause. “Engaging Minds” isn’t just about planting 800 trees after all – it’s also about the critical services that those trees provide to people (like sequestering and storing carbon), the food and shelter they offer to native fauna (like sloths), and the amazing educational opportunities that planting projects can offer to local people.

The last point is especially significant for “Engaging Minds,” because this project integrates children from the local elementary school, Jardin de Niños, in every step of the project. Students will attend a presentation about LRFF’s work and the importance of Costa Rica’s forests before helping in the collection, care and planting of seedlings. Not only will students learn some valuable lessons about conservation and ecology, but as the future policymakers, users and caretakers of Costa Rica’s forests, the students’ involvement is also critical for the sustainability of reforestation projects countrywide.

Microsoft’s YouthSpark program recognizes the importance of providing young people with these fundamental educational and life experiences, providing funding to projects like “Engaging Minds” to support the training of youth around the world. This means that when you donate to projects like this, your dollars will go even further thanks to matching funds provided by Microsoft.

Our experience with students has only reinforced this important relationship between youth and conservation. At another of our project sites this past July, we set out with 50 children from a local elementary school and planted over 150 trees in just 45 minutes. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and we can’t wait to get back in the field to provide local youth with another planting opportunity.

For these reasons, when you contribute to “Engaging Minds,” you’re helping to support one of our favorite types of projects here at La Reserva Forest Foundation… and we think it’s one of your favorites too! Since we posted this project just three months ago, we’ve already received 11 donations and over $900 in funding. This means we’re well on our way to our $2,048 goal!

However, we still need your continued help and support to get this project fully funded so that the children of Jardin de Niños can have a hands-on educational experience and just one more piece of Costa Rica’s valuable tropical forests can begin to recover.

Happy students planting their nursery
Happy students planting their nursery
Receiving a tree at La Reserva field trip
Receiving a tree at La Reserva field trip



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Organization Information

La Reserva Forest Foundation

Location: Tilaran, Guanacaste - Costa Rica
Website: http:/​/​www.lrff.org
Project Leader:
Matthew Lee
Project Leader
Tilaran, Guanacaste Costa Rica

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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