‘Environmental hero’ reforestation campaign aims to restore biological corridors in Costa Rica

October 13, 2014

A reforestation campaign called “Environmental Heroes” this month is asking people to donate funds for the planting, maintenance and monitoring of trees on Costa Rican farms.

Private companies, nongovernmental organizations and public agencies are sponsoring the campaign, which is organized by the local group Climate Change Allies (ACC) and the Organization for Tropical Studies.

The plan aims to plant at least 6,000 trees in the community of La Esperanza de Sarapiquí, north of Heredia, as well as 1,500 trees in Bijagua de Upala, north of Alajuela, and 1,800 in Cañas, Guanacaste.

The goal is to reforest biological corridors from San Juan to La Selva in Sarapiquí, and Tenorio to Miravalles in Upala. These corridors connect protected areas to facilitate the migration of species and to protect aquifers that supply drinking water to a large number of residents, ACC Director Laura Lang explained.

Planting and maintenance of each tree cost approximately ₡7,500 ($17 for donations in U.S. dollars), but any amount is welcome. Donors who sponsor the full cost of one or more trees will be able to see the trees’ locations at the ACC’s website using GPS coordinates. Donors also will receive photographs and information on species being planted.

“We will supervise the planting of the trees, and protect and monitor them for three years. We will replace them if they die and will sign agreements with farms owners so they can continue caring for them until they are fully grown,” Lang said.

Those interested in donating or adopting a tree can do so at the ACC’s website or at Cemaco, Juguetón and Bebé Mundo stores, as well as at all Banco Popular branches througout the country.  The campaign was scheduled to run through Oct. 30, but organizers plan to extend it, Lang said on Monday.

The plan also includes environmental education programs for children, and organizers created a video game that can be downloaded from the campaign’s website and at Apple and Google Play online stores. The app will challenge children with three missions where the goal is to save natural resources, reforest and recycle.

If revenues exceed expectations, new farms will be added to the program “and we will plant more trees at more farms,” Lang said.

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