Last week there was a terrible accident when one of SINAL's areas in process of regeneration caught fire. It is the dry peak of the season, and the strong winds quickly spread it to 2 hectares of land.
The accident happened on the day of Saint John (festa de São João), a very popular festivity in Brazil to celebrate the coming rains and hope for favorable conditions for the crop growing season. To celebrate, people release a type of small hot air balloons that are very dangerous because they tend to cause fires. We still do not know the exact cause of the fire, but the authorities believe it was most likely one of those balloons.
Luckily, the fire brigade responded quickly and, together with the SINAL team, put out the fire in two days. Although we are very sad this happened, we have been taking this opportunity to inform community members of the perils of celebrating with balloons, and we are also eager to start regenerating the land!
We want to extend a big thank you to our donors who support, helping us get the right equipment, keep monitoring measures in place, and continue reforesting our property - If you would like to help us, we could really use your support to act now!
The pandemic has certainly brought about a climate of uncertainty and some immediate changes for us. Although we have continued to plant trees and take care of our soil regeneration areas, we have suspended our environmental education and reforestation activities with groups of students for the time being.
We miss our group visits. We thrive on the energy of awe and lightness we share with our groups. Luckily, we are very happy to report we have come up with a creative way to keep up our conversation with the world out there! Together with two teachers from the American School of Rio de Janeiro, we developed Rise and Shine, a platform to explore aspects of living sustainably and some fun facts about farm life! through video blogs about the SINAL every day dynamics, live sessions with grade school students, and interactive games, we are offering a window to the outdoors, reminiding our young friends sustainability can be fun and creative!
Please check it out at https://sites.google.com/earj.com.br/rise-and-shine/start?authuser=0 or in the link shared below to see what we have been up to!
A big thank you to our donors, especially in this difficult time - words can't express the literal and moral support you are giving us to continue our work. We hope you like navigating the platform as much as we have enjoyed creating it!
Since the end of 2018, we have been focusing our reforestation efforts in the area around a spring in our property that had dried out and is coming back. While we planted more than a thousand trees, it is common for some of them to die from exposure to the elements. This is why, every couple of months, we make rounds to check the general health and tree count.
We began the year with the native seedlings that had been growing in the nursery ready to go, so after a monitoring session, we planted another 200 trees to substitute the ones that didn't make it. The good news is, the original seedlings that survived are bigger and can provide shade and protection to the new ones.
Since there are only a couple of months left of heavy rainfall, we also applied hydrogel activated with our own organic biofertilizer to the "nest" of each new seedling, so they will have better chances os survival!
Thank you to our all donors who not only help us to plant trees, but also to expand our research on cost-effective techniques to bring back the Atlantic Forest.
The rains have begun, and that means the seedlings we prepared back in August are ready to be planted. As we are focusing on a reforestation area that we begun last year protecting a spring that has returned, we have been monitoring its health over the past months and are enriching it with our 600 native species seedlings. Additional to last year's 800.
Designed under our permaculture zoning efforts, this process has given us insight as to low-cost and efficient ways to bring back the forest and keep the soil healthy. It has helped us understand priority setting in our interventions, use hydrogel, and the main threats to regeneration in this area.
Next year we will continue to monitor the trees and make few interventions to help them grow. This is our second low-cost reforestation prototype, along with our Natural Assisted Regeneration area, which involves minimal interventions to support an area that is regenerating on its own.
Earlier this month we began preparing seedlings to begin reforestation work when the rains come next month. We made 600 native species seedlings that are pioneer species, and will receive another 400 seedlings as donation from the State Institute of Environmental Education, a long time partner of ours.
Focusing on the periphery of our springs, we continue to enrich the 50 meter radius around one of the springs that is coming back in a previously depleted area.
Like every year, we will recruit students and volunteers that come through SINAL, from the local community, Rio and internationally, to help us plant the trees. Having done the first intervention last year, it is a good example to show our guests how the transition from a depleted soil to a restored ecosystem takes time and care!
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