The rainiest month of the year has been a mixed bag of some sunny days, some cloudy days, and some very rainy days. It does seem though that we are getting less moisture throughout this rainy season. Hopefully it will be sufficient to give a decent start for all of our young seedlings that were planted this year.
October was a busy month as we had to clear property lines and conduct new surveys in order to qualify for the Costa Rican program Payment for Environmental Services.
Education and Tree Planting:
Cloudbridge took part in judging an environmental art competition at the San Gerardo de Rivas school. The students from kindergarten to grade 6 painted their impressions of an ideal environment. At this event ICE-The Institute for Costa Rican Electricity donated trees at the school for all of the Bandera Azul representatives to plant.
Cloudbridge along with Rolando Zuñiga organized a community tree planting day. Tree planters from the San Gerardo area included representatives from The Hotel Uran, Hotel Pelicano, Hotel Casa Mariposa, Hotel Roca Dura, Hotel Descanso and Cloudbridge. We planted 200 trees along the Chirripo Trail in an area that had been deforested and never replanted. In the future these trees will help control erosion along the trail, give shade to hikers and attract wildlife.
Other tree planting took place on the reserve along the river trail and up the ridge of the Montana trail.
Cloudbridge volunteers, Tom and Linda also went out and various times of the month to finish off the planting for the season. It is the last of the planting for the year as the rainy season subsides. There were approximately 2000 trees planted in 2013.
Researchers and Volunteers:
Sama and Matt presented their research on Carbon Monitoring at Cloudbridge. They had measured the height and DBH of every tree greater than 10 cm in the 1 hectare Smithsonian plot on the reserve. It was a massive job. Here are some interesting findings and facts about Carbon storage:
Heather Waller (England) and Matt Smokoska (US) are interns from the organization GVI. They are doing the biological survey for Cloudbridge for the next 2 months. They have been recording their findings of fauna on daily surveys of the trails as well as checking camera traps. Matt has also been out in the evenings searching for and photographing all kinds of creatures.
Tom and Linda have had a busy month with electrical issues, property surveys, volunteer orientatations, the Bandera Azul final documents (about 90 pages), and organizing tree planting and maintenance schedules. October was supposed to be a tranquilo month! Not so.
Flora and Fauna: