November 2009 MCLUS Newsletter

Many Thanks to the Howe Family for their Creative Fundraising!

Much appreciation is felt for the generosity of Bob and Margie Howe, who asked colleagues and friends to contribute to their favorite charities instead of having a retirement party. MCLUS was one of the organizations they chose, and we received a generous donation! Bob and Margie hope that their success will inspire others to raise funds for the forest in a similar way. They also encourage others to spread the word about the BEN, since many of their colleagues and friends had never heard of it. Bob has visited Monteverde 18 times, is currently teaching English there, and has been a long time friend of Carlos Munoz, former Executive Director of MCL. Bob and Margie hope to help bring electricity and other upgrades to the field stations.

Bob and Margie Howe at MCL office
Bob and Margie Howe (left) were honored with a lunch at the MCL office on November 18.

The Nature Quilt Project Completes Cross-Cultural Education Grant

The Nature Quilt Project submitted their final report this month to the Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation, who provided funds for students in Illinois and in La Tigra, Costa Rica to share in a water study. Students in Illinois visited a local outdoor environmental education center to practice the scientific method in investigating water quality. Meanwhile, students in La Tigra Costa Rica did the same, visiting a local stream in La Tigra and a stream at the Finca Steller Nature Center in the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. Both groups enjoyed the field trips immensely and learned a lot! It is hoped that more students in Costa Rica will have the opportunity to visit and spend time at the Finca Steller Nature Center, located on the Caribbean side of the BEN near the Pocosol field station. Rachel Crandell, former MCLUS President, invested much of her own labor and funds, to provide this educational facility for local children.

Students doing stream study
Fifth grade students from Industry, Illinois used nets to catch tadpoles, fish, and macroinvertebrates in a stream study in April (above). Students from La Tigra also captured and identified macroinvertebrates at a stream nearby their school (below), followed by a visit to a stream at the Finca Steller Nature Center (bottom).

La Tigra students

Finca Steller Nature Center

Thank You All For Your Contributions to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest!

Rainforest vine

This beautiful poem captures what your contributions have accomplished, no matter how small or big.

The poem is published in the book Tertulia en el Bosque, a compilation of works by 5 international and 24 Costa Rican poets. The book was edited by Luissiana Naranjo and the poem featured below was written by her. It was translated by Allison Deines.

The Children’s Eternal Rainforest

I am relieved to know that
silence is found in every leaf on the trees
like that breath of air that we dream of,
always luminous.

To know that today
so many hands
are apprentice seeds,
and later,
they will be trunks to defy the moon
with their branches like mischievous children,
impetutous against the saw.

Because no tree wants to die
with its shadow naked,
cut down in its womb
like that last hearth
that gave warmth to some man.

And that this land is fertile witness
of his audacity,
to be a tree amongst so much lead and cement,
to lose its wild identity
because roots sometimes slip
and clouds tiredly move away from their ideals.

This forest is eternal
not only because it warmly preserves the bird or the plant,
the insect or the frog,
but also because it preserves the POET,
yes, it preserves that poetically green,
that life that is summed up in its essence,
that game of time that never is born, never grows, and never dies,
that innocent sprout for which everything is possible,
that pioneer wind that topples all,
that sensuous rain that multiplies all,
and the silence…that becomes more poetic in its silence.

I am relieved to know,
that this forest is eternal
because you and I
tossed a coin
to win its existence from our imagination.


Keep in mind the summer 2010 trip to the BEN. For more details visit

For the forest,
Friends and Board of MCLUS

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