Help Needed to Find Tree-Planting Groups

June 15, 2007

My company offers private transfers. I am starting to use biodiesel, recycle and am contemplating donating money to plant a tree per each of our trips. Do you have contact information for Costa Rican organizations that plant trees locally?

John Koger

Alajuela

Costa Rica boasts a large number of reforestation projects, certainly too many to mention here. Thanks in part to such efforts Costa Rica has increased its forest coverage from 21% of the country 20 years ago to an estimated 51% now (TT, Nov. 10, 2006).

That said, here are a few groups to get you started:

Costa Rica’s TropicalScienceCenter and the private organization Control Union Certifications (CUC) last month introduced a stamp to promote reforestation efforts to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions and fight global warming.

The stamp, which costs $60, is offered to businesses and individuals who want to help make up for the damage to the atmosphere caused by vehicles and manufacturing.

For each stamp sold, 11 native trees will be planted in areas around the country.

For more information, call 645-5122.

The Santa Fe Women’s Group, a group of 19 women from Santa Fe de Guatuso in the Northern Zone, is reforesting the Santa Fe wetlands and public places around Santa Fe with teak and native tropical species. The group also has a rural tourism and biogas project. Reach them at 479-7062 or e-mail them at info@costaricaruraltours.com.

Finca Leola is another group that is planting teak and native species in the foothills and lowlands of the Arenal area. Reach them at 479-7062 or e-mail at info@fincaleola.com.

If you want to see more trees in the Central Valley, a good option is The Association for the Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Escazú Mountains (CODECE), a nonprofit community-based organization that supports conservation and sustainable development of the area. The organization has reforestation projects and coordinates trips to plant native trees that prevent landslides. For more info call 228-0183 or see codece.org.

There are also an array of foreign-run reforestation projects. The Cloudbridge Reserve Project aims to preserve and reforest an important gap in the cloud forest adjoining the Chirripó Pacifico river on the slopes of Mt.Chirripó, the highest mountain in Costa Rica. They can be reached in New York at (212) 362-9391 or at iam@cloudbridge.org.

The United Nations Small Donations Program has various reforestation efforts throughout Costa Rica and can be reached at 296-1544 ext. 137, or e-mailed at pequenas.donaciones.cr@undp.org.

The North American-owned Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat just announced its Reforest Costa Rica project.

The group offers packages in which you can tour the area and stay at the lodge while helping reforest the group’s 26 acres with Kapok and Almendro trees. Find out more at leavesandlizards.com or call 478-0023.

There are also governmental efforts to reforest Costa Rica, such as the Municipality of San José’s $250,000 plan launched this year to plant 8,500 plants and trees in the capital.

For more information, call 890-1020.

 

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