Getting to Know the CER: Visit Finca Steller

Dear Rainforest Friends,

The Children's House at Finca Steller is an interactive hands-on learning center for children.

I want to introduce you to one of the places least visited by tourists in the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. It is not under-visited because it is an unattractive place (every place in the CER is beautiful), but because it is set off the beaten path. In fact, its visitation has been on the rise in the last couple of years, not necessarily from tourism, but due to environmental education activities organized by the MCL, community groups and local schools. So, I invite you to take a walk with me through Finca Steller, a very special place to many young people, the communities surrounding the CER and the MCL.

Where is Finca Steller?

Finca Steller (Steller Farm) is located in La Tigra de San Carlos, very close to the MCL’s office branch and the Pocosol Field Station, and has been developed into a valuable educational tool. The MCL constructed two buildings on the property; the Children’s House, an interactive place for hands-on learning similar to the Bajo del Tigre building, and the classroom, a multifunctional room for lectures, lab experiments and other activities.

The entrance into Finca Steller, as well as the classroom utilized during monthly environmental education activities with local youth groups.

Who Visits Finca Steller?

As I mentioned above, the majority of Finca Steller’s visitors are local youth including the La Tigra Elementary School and scout troops. In hope of strengthening their environmental education program, the MCL staff in La Tigra has organized monthly environmental education activities for the past two years at Finca Steller. Local school children are transported to the educational center where they are introduced to the CER and local conservation issues, as well as taken on a tour through the facilities and trails. The children get to meet the people who manage the CER every day, including the CER’s park guards. The guards share their stories with the children, hoping the younger generation will let go of harmful poaching and wildlife capture traditions that are now illegal throughout the country, yet still very popular around the protected area’s periphery. The children are also taken to the nursery where the native tree species used in the CER’s reforestation projects are produced. Many times the children are even able to plant trees on the property and at their schools, aiding with reforestation efforts throughout the community.

Finca Steller’s Impact

Marcelo Rodriguez (left) and Hernan Chacon (right), two members of the MCL's park guard team, are caring for the budding trees used in the CER's various reforestation efforts throughout the community.

Finca Steller has become a very special place, not only to MCL staff but also to the community and other conservation organizations. In the last two years the MCL has renovated Finca Steller’s buildings and made valuable alliances with other community groups such as Proyecto ASIS, a local wild animal rehabilitation and release center. The MCL works together with these other organizations to assure the development and execution of necessary environmental education programs and activities that will help conserve the area’s natural resources, as well as create the CER’s future stewards and protectors.

I encourage anyone who visits the CER to tour Finca Steller. The MCL would be ecstatic to include any visitors in the environmental education activities they carry out in La Tigra, and if you would like more information about visiting Finca Steller or supporting the MCL’s environmental education program, please send an email to info@acmcr.org.

For the Forest,

Mia Roberts

 

 

 

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