MCLUS May 2010 Newsletter – Gulf oil spill shows great need for protected habitat

Dear Friends,

The ecological devastation of the Gulf oil spill shows the profound need to protect habitat for migrating birds. They must have safe places enroute from Central American to North America, but they also need protected homes to return to. Your donations keep the Children’s Eternal Rainforest intact and a safe place for hundreds of bird species. Thank you!

Please consider making a donation today to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest to help preserve and protect the vital ecosystem that these birds need in Costa Rica.

For the forest,

Signed, Laurie Waller

Laurie Waller
Interim Executive Director and
MCLUS Board of Directors

Canada Warbler

Migratory birds from the Children’s Eternal Rainforest are a shared delight

With over 850 species, the abundance of bird life in Costa Rica is legendary. For the past several weeks, beautiful birds from the Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Costa Rica have returned to North American back yards, woodlands and waterways.

The Monteverde area , the mountainous region of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, is known for its high biodiversity. It has over 400 bird species and 91 of those species (21%), are long distance migratory birds which head north to have their young. The Children’s Eternal Rainforest hosts many migratory bird species such as the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Golden-winged Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo and Turkey Vulture.

Dr. Tom Fuller and Ornithology Students

Lively neo-tropical migrants are sighted by students in Mary Jane Hoff’s ornithology class at Principia College (Elsah, Illinois). Dr. Tom Fuller, an avid birder (front) often joins the early morning class. He took the following photos of bird species which live in the Children’s Eternal Rainforest and which he has seen in Elsah, Illinois (from left to right: Eastern Kingbird, Baltimore Oriole, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Northern Parula).

Rainforest Birds - Photos by Dr. Tom Fuller

Announcing the Rachel Crandell Ambassador Scholarship Program

With generous sponsorship from Diane and Monte Powell, one student from Principia Lower School will have the opportunity to travel to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest this summer.

The late Rachel Crandell taught for 20 years at Principia Lower School and for several years engaged classes in the St. Louis area and around the country in fundraiser competitions to ‘win’ a student from their class a free trip to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest.  In honor of Rachel and her love for the child-like spirit, MCLUS renewed the Ambassador Scholarship Program at The Principia School this year with plans to expand it to other schools in the St. Louis area in 2011.

In expressing their support, Monte said that he and Diane see the scholarship program and trip as a great way “to expand young people’s appreciation and understanding of the natural world.”

This year’s student winner, fifth grader Emma Sammuli, participated in an essay contest and was selected by a panel of judges from the MCLUS board.  Emma will share her trip to the forest with peers and have the opportunity to join the Forever Forest Group.  The Forever Forest Group is an example of how kids working together can sustain their enthusiasm for outreach and multiply their success.  Next year MCLUS will offer three scholarships.  Teachers in the St. Louis area who attended the rainforest workshop last summer at the Missouri Botanical Garden are invited to enroll their class.  Contact Cindy Waller at 314-941-1257 or for more information!

Student Ambassadors
Rachel Crandell, late MCLUS President, with three student ambassadors in 2004.

Click here to make a donation to help support the Rachel Crandell Ambassador Scholarship Program

Thank you for all you do in support of MCLUS and the forest!