Planting trees is only part of our mission.

January 15-19, 2007

It’s been another exciting and work-filled week here in Bahia de Caraquez. The dry season continues even though a few showers teased us, which suggests that the rainy season is close. With the real rain holding out on us, we continue to water our old revegetation sites. We are also making the final preparations in the greenhouse to get new trees for this season’s planting ready to move out into the field.

On Monday we had a long day of watering two of our larger sites, Bosque Encantado and El Toro. Upon arriving at the El Toro site we had the unfortunate discovery that fires to clear brush in an area that includes part of the site may have damaged a half dozen of our plantings. It appears as though the trees survived the fire, but there was clearly some damage done. I hold ourselves as responsible for this act of negligence. In retrospect we should have known that it was likely that fire would be used to remove the brush that had already been cut in this area. Additionally we poorly demarcated our trees in this instance. But the bottom line is that there must be better communication with landowners and the communities in which we reforest. Planting trees is only part of our mission.

On Tuesday a couple of us continued watering at the Cherry Tree site in the morning while the rest of us took the morning off and then spent the afternoon finishing our park project from the previous week. We finished painting a fence in the park and watered all the trees there including more than a dozen new trees that were planted last week. The park now looks great, right alongside the road on the way into the city. We’ve already gotten a number of compliments on it from local communities.

Wednesday we were back in the greenhouse, watering and transplanting trees into large plastic bottles for planting once the rainy season commences. We also collected more of these plastic bottles around town, as there are still numerous trees that we need to transplant before the rains. In the afternoon we invited Ramon’s bioregionalism class to help with some of our transplanting and the kids got to do some hands-on work, which they very much enjoyed.

On Thursday we revisited the Bosque Encantado site and did some maintenance work to prepare some of our ‘older’ (one year) trees there to make the most of the upcoming wet season. Catchments were created around a number of trees and fresh compost from our greenhouse was added to the soil around the trees to give them a boost of nutrients. Once again more bottles were collected.

With the fresh influx of bottles we completed more transplanting on Friday. I visited the El Toro site and added compost to trees we have stored there which are waiting to be put in the ground. In the afternoon I accompanied Ramon and his bioregional class and some other eco-amigos on an excursion to collect Mangrove seeds that washed up on the opposite side of the river from Bahia. This was our weekly activity in anticipation of the Eco-week in February. The seeds we collected are in a tub of salt water now and will begin to germinate over the coming month so that they will be ready for planting during a daylong activity that will be part of the Eco-week.

Step by step we are working to change our future…

Until next time,


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