by Rowan Eisner in Monteverde
You may have read in the May MCLUS blog entry about the Eco Fest. In June, MCL held a three-day event to continue to mark our 25th anniversary, but also marking World Environment day and International Year of the Forests. The ‘Feria Ambiental, Cultural y Deportiva’ or Environmental, Cultural and Sports Fair included presentations, games, sports, plays, workshops and music. The fair kicked off with a ‘clean up Monteverde’ campaign. Armed with sacks, people from the schools, the cheese factory and the reserves started at the Cerro Plano and the Santa Elena schools and cleaned up all the trash they could find, till they met up in the middle with 10 sacks full, four of which were recyclables.
Many organizations were represented including the local cheese factory and the other local reserves, the Cloud Forest Reserve and the Santa Elena Reserve, which is run by the local high school. Fair-goers learned to make beautiful wallets and gift bags out of recycled materials; had the chance to take a mountain bike tour; while those less adventurous took a workshop on a pod of stationary bikes.
A member from the Monteverde Institute gave a talk on water quality. MCL explained the life zones and importance of biodiversity in the area which went well with the talk from the Bellbird Biological Corridor explaining the need to provide passage for migratory endemics. The Monteverde Reserve talked about two of their projects. The first of these aims to reduce plastic bag usage through reusable bags and highlights the impact of disposables on the environment. The second is a recycling project, in keeping with Reduce, Reuse, Recycle principles. There was a drawing contest with local schools and the results displayed at the fair as a slide show. The winning originals were displayed in the permanent case on the front of the Info Center. One musical highlight was hearing Insax, the classically trained saxophone quartet from San Jose – what a delight to to hear them in Monteverde!