Sunny mornings and rainy afternoons……tis the season.
This is definitely the season for tree planting. Besides some planting that took place on the reserve filling in along the ridge lines and replacement plantings, we also took part in a community tree planting project. Cloudbridge along with participants from the local hotels, the community, and the school all came together to continue reforesting along the Chirripo trail on what was previously agricultural land. We had planted along this section last year as well. Hopefully this exposed area will regenerate and connect the corridors for birds and wildlife. It will also be beneficial in the future for hikers as they make their way up the challenging trail to the summit.
Other Community participation
Cloudbridge volunteers helped with a garbage clean up day in the town of San Gerardo de Rivas. We continue to participate in the recycling program in town as well. A group of citizens get together to sort and crush cans and bottles which are stored for later pick up by the municipality and taken to recycling plants.
The local school invited the Cloudbridge reserve to participate in a program of celebration for their Bandera Azul award. Bandera Azul (blue flag) is an annual award or badge that recognizes effort and volunteer work in the pursuit of conservation and development. This includes the protection of natural resources, the implementation of actions to address climate change, and the search for better sanitary conditions, all to improve the public health of the people in Costa Rica.
Cloudbridge donated a prize for the environmental art competition and helped judge the paintings. There was also a program in the school that celebrated cultures from each continent. It was a fun day.
Cloudbridge also received the Bandera Azul award once again.
We received the maximum – 5 stars on the flag this year for our efforts!
There is never a bad time to go for a hike here. The rainy season presents a few challenges but if you get up and out on the trails early you almost always make it back before the rain begins. Care has to be taken on the rocks and trails as they can be a little slick from the previous days rain. The benefit is that the landscape is incredibly green and lush, and the coolness makes hiking the slopes a little easier.
For a few nights in July we were targeting silk moths (family Satuniidae) with the assistance of Eric Smith M.S. from Caldwell Community College in North Carolina, USA. He also donated several preservation materials for our use. Andre Kaman a volunteer from Germany also helped with this project. He is a English and biology teacher back in his home country.
Here is a list of what they collected and identified:
The volunteer organization ARO from Quebec, Canada returned with another group of eager workers. This time they helped with gardening. We worked in the memorial garden, weeding and planting. The morning ended with a walk to Pacifica water falls.
Thank you ARO volunteers – the gardens look beautiful.
Lea from New York helped build a chair, tables, and benches. She also planted trees and assisted with mounting insects that were collected the previous week by Eric Smith.
Four German volunteers that were here in July and August from the organization Planet Conservation were Jonas Rehrmann, Simon Uhde, and Stefan and Kathrin Kollmannsberger. They participated in various projects and had a wonderful experience working in a tropical cloud forest.
Global Vison International (GVI) has sent Emily Marsh from Australia to continue the biological surveys of bird point counts and camera trap surveillance. She has been relocating some of the traps and reorganizing the data methods. She would also like to work on a presentation about wildlife that could be used at the school.
Christian Shultz from Germany is back again for a return visit. His love for the tropics meant a second trip this year. He was first here in March as a volunteer and this time around he did some gardening, cleared trails, and did a lot of hiking.
Sandra Lindenmann is from Germany and has just completed high school. This is a gap year for her and she is gaining experience assisting with field work and doing other miscellaneous jobs.