Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms

by Community Carbon Trees- Costa RIca
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Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms
Plant 30,000 native trees Costa Rican owned farms

It's Bonus Day October 15, 2014 and we want to give the planet 2 trees for 1 on this special day! Why?

Planting trees in any clime is beneficial and beautiful for all the gifts they give us daily. But did you know that planting trees near the Equator actually  “cools”  the planet more than trees planted in North America, or Canada, or Norway?  How? 

Researchers, including Ken Caldeira of Carnegie's Department of Global Ecology and Govindasamy Bala at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, found that because tropical forests store large amounts of carbon and produce reflective clouds, they are especially good at cooling the planet. Forests also cool the atmosphere because they convert solar energy to water vapor, which increases sky albedo (or reflectivity) via cloud formation. More recently, scientists on the International Panel on Climate Change have joined in the movement to foster planting trees near the Equator where they help us more than in Northern regions.

So, what is the problem with forest cover in the Northern hemisphere?  Forests in snowy areas can warm the Earth, instead of cooling it, because their dark canopy absorbs sunlight that would otherwise be reflected back to space by a bright white covering of snow. Those of us living in the tropics can tell you about the cool cloudy days. We can literally feel the action of the trees in the forest producing clouds and cooling the atmosphere. 

"Tropical forests are like Earth's air conditioner," Caldeira said. "When it comes to rehabilitating forests to fight global warming, carbon dioxide might be only half of the story; we also have to account for whether they help to reflect sunlight by producing clouds, or help to absorb it by shading snowy tundra.”  Forests in colder, sub-polar latitudes evaporate less water and are less effective at producing clouds. As a result, the main climate effect of these Northern forests is to increase the absorption of sunlight, which can overwhelm the cooling effect of carbon storage.

 

Baby trees in our nurseries!
Baby trees in our nurseries!
cooling clouds
cooling clouds
Workers planting trees on a cool cloudy day!
Workers planting trees on a cool cloudy day!
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Daney's son helps load the truck
Daney's son helps load the truck

Our community tree planting Initiative in Costa Rica focuses on local subsistence farmers planting bio diverse trees on their own widespread deforested cattle farms. These farms typically suffer from bad soil and the owners can no longer raise profitable cattle. We have created a solution that works for everyone. Locals make money by producing and planting trees with in deforested areas near the Equator where benefits are compounded for all of us.  

Healthy trees need fertile soil to develop robust, root balls.  Fermenting fruit  material mixed into the compost inoculates the trees naturally. We nourish our baby trees in the nursery with specially prepared soil for a full year before we plant them so that they can survive the first hard couple of years out in the cow pasture. Community members fill the medium sized tree bags with bokosha soil produced by our women's group, ladies like Daney pictured here. 

Daney is 58 years old and has 13 children. She lives in a rustic house and earns extra money producing fertile bokosha soil for our tree nurseries. More and more, our fertile dirt production has gathered momentum and folks around town are buying it up!  Cleaning up the riversides by removing cow poop prevents nitrogen overload in the whole watershed leading to the nearby Pacific ocean 13 kms downstream. 

The link between the dirt and the trees reveals the magic of Nature. And creates a space where we humans can participate! The trees make the dirt by dropping branches, piling up with leaves and fermenting fruit and animal feces dropping from nests and canopies. Add the shade and dappled sunlight, cooler temperatures and cover, and magic dirt appears. The dirt makes the tender young trees grow by giving them a chance to develop a root ball and get nourishment from “topsoil” during the first challenging years. Round and round they go, the dirt and the trees. We all need each other to survive.

Daney with her bundle of baby trees for transplant
Daney with her bundle of baby trees for transplant
Alvaro and Daney herself help load bags
Alvaro and Daney herself help load bags
Daney demonstrates her drying nitrogen material
Daney demonstrates her drying nitrogen material
Alvaro and Jenny collect cow poop from riverside
Alvaro and Jenny collect cow poop from riverside
Baby trees need fertile dirt to make root balls
Baby trees need fertile dirt to make root balls
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Bees and Trees!
Bees and Trees!

At Community Carbon Trees - Costa Rica, we have a regular environmental education program that reinforces our community tree planting work and gives people a chance to put their hands in the good earth and help out producing the trees. It is a fabulous opportunity to reach children and adults alike through play work in our highly biodiverse community nurseries. Everyone feels so good after our Kid's Nature Days and it is a chance to integrate our community of foreigners and Costa Ricans into one big happy team working together for the local forest so important to the bigger picture of climate change. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014, ACCT Kid's Nature Day, we invited the local beekeeper Harold Mena Ramirez and his son to share with us all kinds of information about bee culture including all about the 50 different Costa Rican native bees, especially the tiny medincal ones. Everyone loved hearing how the bees make honey and how apiculturists like Harold collect the honey and the bee pollen full of vitamins and amino acids.  Two different families already hired Harold to come to their farms and relocate hives of medicinal bees instead of the folks destroying the hives.  Harold to the bee rescue! 

As most of us are aware, bees and other pollinators like bats, moths, lizards, hummingbirds and even wasps, are critical to our food production. We plant so many blooming trees that produce gorgeous flowerscritical to feed the bees all year long, especially in the tropical summer months. It is so much fun to see people come alive when they learn they can attract pollinators of all kinds through planting native fruit trees and other fine hardwoods.  Having fun while learning and creating dignified jobs for local small farmers is what Community Carbon Trees Costa Rica does with every tree we plant!

Thank you for your continued support of our community reforestation work. While environmental education may be the EXTRA voluntary part of our work, it is certainly an important focus for us as it creates even more long term positive impact for forest conservation and reforestation with both young and old alike. We love Trees! And Bees!!  Thank you Harold! 

transplanting baby trees for bees
transplanting baby trees for bees
Waking up kids to bees and trees
Waking up kids to bees and trees
We always play in the dirt!!! Fertile!!
We always play in the dirt!!! Fertile!!
planting seeds
planting seeds
Harold Mena, son Alberto,  Jennifer Project Leader
Harold Mena, son Alberto, Jennifer Project Leader
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caoba seeds
caoba seeds

 

The thrill of finding precious seeds from rare and endangered trees on our community seed collection expeditions is one of the best parts of producing so many different kinds of rainforest trees. We walk far and wide to obtain the most rare seeds. And sometimes they are right off the road, invisible to the common eye. We are also so grateful to have so many special tree friends who  are always on the lookout for diverse native seeds.

For example, the brown seeds pictured are caoba trees, Costa Rican mahogany, or Sweitenia macrophylla. About 2 months ago, my phone rang on a Sunday afternoon. My friend, Eric, called to tell me that the big seed pods hanging from the mature caoba tree we had been watching along the side of the road had exploded. Knowing that we did not have any other source for these seeds, I jumped in my truck and headed directly there.

I approached the house and noticed two oder people outside observing the seeds flying through the air. When I asked them if I coud collect the seeds for tree production in our community reforestation work in the nearby sorely deforested vally, they smiled broadly at each other and belly laughed. The tree fairy came, they exclaimed. They had just seconds before wished that someone would come and collect the seeds and produce the baby trees, care for them long enough for them to grow strong enough to plant in the Equatorial sun and rain. Just as they had done when they were younger.

Indeed, they shared the special story of planting the Mother Caoba who finally made seeds this year 2014 after 29 years dormant. We were there on the first day IT EVER GAVE SEEDS wHAT A CELEBRATION WE FELT!   They had planted the tree themselves in their younger years and at this moment they wEre both hobbling around, each having been  through some minor knee surgery at the moment. Nevertheless, they came out to the balcony to chat with me, marvel at Nature's will to survive, and thank Mother Tree for her valuable  seeds.

cocoa seeds come from cocoa fruits!!
cocoa seeds come from cocoa fruits!!
Participation helps us protect more forest
Participation helps us protect more forest
Friends with seeds are always welcome!!
Friends with seeds are always welcome!!
llorito seeds
llorito seeds
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New Tree Nursery
New Tree Nursery

Our tropical community activated reforestation work focuses on planting high bio diversity food and commercial corridors. This means we do our own seed collecting from local Mother Trees involving as many people and species as possible. Because tropical sun can be so harsh, shade areas are necessary for successful tree production. All of our trees spend from 10 months to  2 years in the nursery before being planted. We make tree production a sustainable business for local people which in turn gives added reasons to conserve the older cherished species stil left standing. It all starts here!  Our community tree nurseries are now ready to accommodate groups of volunteers and students, as well as paid workers who help us produce and trasnport all of the trees we plant on farms owned by Costa Ricans.  We produce yummy exotic fruit trees for humans. We also produce fruits for bats, birds, tapirs, pumas, jaguarundis, scarlett macaws and monkeys anteaters and snakes, just to name a few. We produce fine exotic hardwoods and all kinds of medicinal trees too. We thank you for sponsoring a tree because every single one is so valuable and really does make a difference in offseting global challenge of climate change and rainforest regeneration.

Vivero expansion
Vivero expansion
Sink always necessary for soaking some seeds!
Sink always necessary for soaking some seeds!
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Community Carbon Trees- Costa RIca

Location: Platanillo, Perez Zeledon - Costa Rica
Website:
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Project Leader:
Jennifer Smith
Founder CEO
Platanillo, Costa Rica
$276,272 raised of $333,000 goal
 
1,972 donations
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