May 7-May 11, 2007
It’s been an interesting week full of greenhouse visits and international outreach. On Monday we worked on the bioregional education materials. A nearly thirty page booklet, in Spanish, on the concept of bioregionalism, with a focus on the Bahia bioregion, is taking shape, complete with field trips and outdoor exercises for kids. We dumped off our house compost at the greenhouse, collected some 3-liter bottles and then took care of some weeding. During the day I attended another meeting on private protected areas and finalized plans for the international event slated for Thursday and Friday.
On Tuesday we split into groups, some stayed at the office continuing educational preparations, others went to our Bosque Encantado site and a few to our La Cruz site to clean weeds, do trail maintenance and check on trees. The trees are looking great, only a small percentage have died since being transplanted in mid-February. The semi-consistent rains so far this year have been good enough to maintain trees with only minimal manual watering. The same rains have also sustained a healthy number of ‘weeds’ competing with trees that need to be cleared periodically.
On Wednesday a group headed to planted sites in Bosque en Medio de las Ruinas to clear weeds there as well, while others went to Leonidas Plaza to help pick up 3-liter bottles from the streets. We found over 8 large sacks before going to the greenhouse to cut them so they will be ready for holding transplanted trees. On the way home a handful of trees were brought along for a display at the international event in the municipality.
Thursday was Day One of a two day event that brought environmentally minded groups from around Ecuador and northern Peru together in Bahia to share experiences and ideas about how to protect and restore the environment. Representatives of numerous communities and organizations gave presentations of their hard work throughout the day. Planet Drum had an interactive booth set up to show off some of our trees and greenhouse techniques for revegetationing. In the afternoon the group of private land owners convened to sign an accord to enter the network of private protected forests of Ecuador. It provides participants with resources and legal services to better protect, actively restore and sustainably develop land. The initial group of fifteen members included Planet Drum, the Mayor of Bahia, Sra. Flor Maria Dueñas, Jacob Santos, and Marcelo Luque among others. The Bahia-based participants agreed to work together to further ecological awareness, environmental protection and actively working to restore natural balances, such as revegetation.
On Friday the visitors to Bahia, many of them sponsored by DarwinNet, were given a tour of some of the natural resources and ecological projects in the area. The group of roughly fifty people was taken through Isla Corazon, an island of Mangroves protected by local residents who give eco-tours. From there they visited the Planet Drum greenhouse. I gave a tour of the greenhouse including an in-depth explanation of revegetation practices. Response to our project was very positive and there were a lot of great questions from the visitors. From the greenhouse, everyone took public buses back to the Bahia and went to the Bellavista neighborhood to see some of the community development that has been going on there as well as take a tour of the Cerro Seco nature preserve. It was an action packed day, but it really showed off the strengths of the ecological projects that are taking place in Bahia. It was great getting to share experiences with people from other regions, some of which were also dry tropical forest areas. Overall I think the event was a big success.
Until next week,