Just got back from looking at the Rio Sol Biological Corridor project today and couldn’t wait to show you the great news, but I will restrain myself from confusing you and start at the beginning. Almost one month ago KC Woods and his dad, Ken came to La Reserva for a visit. KC said he needed to see first hand what we are doing here since being elected to the LRFF/US board. We went to the Maleku Reserve to see the trees planted thus far in the Rio Sol project. We were amazed at what we found! The trees had been planted only 2½ months earlier and were growing, no thriving. But wait, this is about forests and people. Here are the people working to restore forests for you.
Rebecca Bell arrived at La Reserva from the UK on July 23rd to begin her internship as a language major in a Spanish speaking country and work as my administrative assistant. She is amazing and has created the new LRFF 2012 calendar that will feature some photos from our supporters. Jimmy Acosta Elizondo has been working with us on the Rio Sol project since the first days of planting in June. He is now the on-site project supervisor. He has proven to be an excellent crew leader coming up with innovative solutions for nursery organization and project maintenance techniques. You probably already know Daniel. He is my beloved partner, LRFF field manager and treasurer of LRFF/CR. We couldn’t do any of this without him.
This past week we have inspected the areas planted at the end of May and the nurseries for the second phase plus looked at new properties to be reforested in yet a third phase of the Rio Sol Biological Corridor project,. Most of the nurseries have been created by women in Palenque Tonjibe and are doing great. We lacked cacao trees to be able to plant 10% in the remaining 21,000 trees but our friend Deibys, who also works as a regular team member planting and maintaining the areas, has a nursery of only cacao, a special durable breed. In December we will use his trees to make up the cacao to be planted in the third phase of the Rio Sol project.
It is the greatest feeling of bliss and purpose to see these women in their nurseries. They keep a daily watch on the baby trees making sure they have enough light but not too much sun. They watch the recently planted trees, scratching their trunks to make sure they are still alive and watch them struggling to put out new green buds. It is amazing and a huge thank you to these beautiful women for giving this great gift to their community and future generations.
See for yourselves how the baby trees are doing in the areas we visited today. Above is the area planted on March 18th with Pierre Andres and the etnies Team Riders for the BASPAT inaugural ceremony. In the photo we are looking toward the area where the etnies sign is planted.
Jimmy is able to keep a close watch on the planted areas, nurseries and maintenance because he lives along the river. He inspects all of the areas once a week and alerts us of anything needed. There is a vine that grows super fast. It grows up the small tree and within two months takes it over. I found a small tree today whose new leaves were deformed and it was bent over to the ground with one of these vines climbing its frame. Jimmy was worried and suggested the crew perform a maintenance cleaning earlier than planned. He is also organizing the nurseries into groups of 100 trees to make the inventory easier.
No one knows the name of the tree above. We found it in the La Reserva forest with amazing round fruits hanging from the trunk and limbs. We planted the seeds last year in the nursery and they all germinated. This one is doing great on Lillian Tinoco’s farm, over two meters tall.
In the photo above you can see by the yellow leaves where the little tree went into shock when it was planted. Everything above it is new growth. Check out the photo below. I can’t help but get excited seeing these little trees thriving.
Yesterday we also looked at Alex Flores farm, “Finca La Nica”, within the Maleku Reserve in Palenque Tonjibe. Alex wants to reforest approximately 2½ hectares of pasture but must continue to have his cattle for income. He loves trees and already has an extensive primary forest on the property full of orchids, birds and animals. In the photos below and above you can see part of the area to be planted. The tall, thin trees below are Laurel, a common timber tree in the northern zone of Costa Rica.
We will now offer this project for funding as a continuation of the Rio Sol Biological Corridor project. Alex can’t begin his nursery until we have most of the funding in place so come on everybody………………
LET’S GET PLANTING!!