The sites are thriving.

September 3, 2004 

This week’s accomplishments include the usual dry season tasks, watering all the sites and transplanting saplings into larger containers, as well as some extra activities.

The greenhouse underwent a little maintenance. Some of the green covering had come loose and needed to be reattached to the frame. It was just general wear and tear that’s to be expected. I assure you that no vandalism has taken place. We planted nearly 200 Fernan Sanchez seeds this week as well. We are keeping a record of which seeds get planted, the date they are planted, and the number of seeds. I think it is useful to see how many of the seeds actually sprout and how long it takes, specific to each species. The information gathered from our record keeping will be added to The Project Seed Bank spreadsheet.

The sites are thriving. Most of the plants are growing with this new watering technique, not just maintaining. The Colorados especially have taken off. Most of the new growth is foliage. The plants are remaining the same height, however they are fuller with leaves. Insects have not been a problem thus far. I suspect that some grazing animals are still getting at our plants near the canal (in the areas enclosed with barbed wire fences.)  Fortunately, only the leaves are being nibbled; the plants themselves are still rooted and begin regenerating leaves within a few days. We will add additional wire to the posts and an extension to each end.

Getting on to the most exciting news, the Ciebo trees have began to shed their seeds. They form hundreds of giant cotton-like bulbs that eventually explode dispersing little round, black seeds and a white fluff everywhere. The phenomenon causes the surroundings to resemble the front yard of some suburban home ambitiously decorated for Halloween. Being the opportunists that we are, we collected Ciebo seeds twice this week, from two different locations, and plan to germinate them next week at the greenhouse. It amazes me to see the Ciebo trees go through their sensationally overt seasonal characteristics and we are all thrilled to partake in the seed collection process.

Also this week, we had the chance to disseminate some of our knowledge and love for the environment to the children of Bahía. We met with an ecology group from Vladir’s private Genesis School and gave them a tour of the Bosque “Wild Park”. We started by explaining the process and need for revegetation, using a poster and examples at the location as visual aids. Preceding the lecture, we walked through the Bosque and discussed the characteristics of various species. Each child (16 in total) received a worksheet that highlighted them. The worksheet also had a space for the students to draw their observations. Following the walk, each student was given a pot and some soil in which they each planted their own seeds. We left the students with proper instructions on how to care for their new “class pets”. We promised to follow up in a few months, at which time the seedlings will be big enough to move to a permanent space. It was a really enthusiastic group and our lesson plan worked well. 

I don’t think we need to put out any further appeals for volunteers right now. We are still receiving new inquiries from the ads I posted months ago, besides we have a full house scheduled until February with some crowded overlaps to cover us if people have a change of heart.  

There has been no real progress to report regarding the canal problem I discussed in my last report. We still haven’t sorted it all out or figured out how to proceed. The Fernando site I referred to previously is located on the east side of the canal (on the opposing side to where we have already planted). There is a great spot and I see it as a separate site and not an addition to what we have already started (which is likely to be destroyed soon). I also like that the property is privately owned and uninhabited. 


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