Forest News and Notes – Summer Edition

A Special Message for You...

Laurie WallerDear Friends of the Forest,“Action, not apathy” and “Focus, not fragmentation” are two ideas that energize our conservation and education work. In this issue you’ll see how your focused action is creating wonderful results. We are delighted to share terrific news about a recent land purchase, species on the rebound, and more good results from fundraisers for the forest.

Also, in June 2012, Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest’s (FCER’s) Board of Directors and staff launched an intensive strategic planning process to create a dynamic and achievable three-year plan for our future. We are working with key stakeholders to craft a strategy that will focus our energy and resources on the top priorities. It’s an exciting time!

We are fortunate to have the professional support of Steve Finkelstein, senior partner with Experience on Demand, a consulting firm that specializes in business and strategic planning. Steve has a big heart and is passionate about the work that non-profit organizations do to benefit society. He chooses one to two non-profits a year as a way of giving back. With Steve’s expert guidance, The Children’s Eternal Rainforest will benefit from our focused efforts to create a dynamic future.

You are a special friend of the forest, and we look forward to sharing the three-year strategic plan when it is finished later this year. Now, as well as anytime, your ideas and support are welcome!

For the Forest,
Signed, Laurie Waller
Laurie Waller
Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest

The Forest Expands

You did it! Last month a piece of land on the Children’s Eternal Rainforest’s “most wanted” list became available and thanks to FCER supporters it is now part of the reserve.

This piece of farmland was a top priority for purchase because it sits close to one of the forest’s field stations, is largely deforested and is accessible by a public road. It was also an “inholding”, meaning that it was a privately owned piece of land in the midst of otherwise protected forest.

While at 15 acres the parcel may sound small, this land’s particular attributes meant that it was, until now, vulnerable to development and formed an interruption in the pristine surrounding forest that disturbed the natural migration patterns of forest wildlife (including the beloved but endangered Three-wattled Bellbird–a bird with the loudest call on earth). Now this land will begin the process of regeneration and return to its natural state as part of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest.

What looks like this . . .
Deforested Farm Land

Will come to look like this.
Lush rainforest

Whole Foods Display with rainforest signage and New Chapter products

Whole Foods and New Chapter Raise $89,000!

In an effort spearheaded by FCER Board Member and entrepreneur Tom Newmark, longtime forest supporters Whole Foods Market and New Chapter collaborated again this year to promote the Children’s Eternal Rainforest through sales of New Chapter’s line of health supplements and vitamins. Together they raised a remarkable $89,000 to fund FCER’s conservation and awareness efforts. New Chapter Key Account Manager Debbie Engle explains, “It has been my honor to support the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. I love every plant, animal, and element of the rainforest and have enjoyed exploring it and all of its wonders.”

Forest Friends: David Hults and Brad Fuller

After a recent visit to Costa Rica where they experienced the enchantment of the rainforest and learned about its importance to our lives, St. Louisans David Hults and Brad Fuller generously partnered with FCER to support its effort to protect the Children’s Eternal Rainforest.

David (a career coach, author and speaker, and the Founder and CEO of St. Louis based Active:8 Careers) had been captivated by the sights, sounds and smells of the rainforest. He and Brad ingeniously recreated these sensations for their “Monkey Business” fundraising gala at their home–complete with a tropical, torch-lit “rainforest walk,” waterfalls, themed cocktails, a resplendent buffet dinner and a silent auction that raised $8,600 to benefit FCER. “It was like walking into a rainforest,” more than one guest commented. What a feat!

Brad, the EVP and Managing Director of marketing giant Rivet Global’s Chicago and St. Louis offices, donated Rivet’s talent and created FCER’s beautiful new logo and rebranding, helping us change our name and image from the Monteverde Conservation League, US to the more recognizable Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest.

Thank you Brad and David, you are truly Citizens of the Planet!

Brad Hults and David Fuller receive citizens of the planet award globe at Monkey Business party 5-12
David and Brad receive an FCER Citizens of the Planet Globe

The Green Eyed Frog Rebounds on Recently Acquired Land

In 2008, FCER supporters helped buy a 115 acre property to add to the forest, and this investment is paying off for forest wildlife as rare species, including the beautiful but once thought extinct, Green-eyed frog return to populate the area.

In the 1980s and ’90s, world frog populations began to plummet for reasons still poorly understood, but which scientists think may be a combination of habitat destruction and modification, disease, pollution and other factors. These declines have been seen as a critical threat to world biodiversity because frog populations, which are particularly sensitive to their environment, may be an early sign of trouble for other types of plants and animals.

One of the signature frog species of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, the Green-eyed frog, was thought be extinct by the early 1980s. But in 2002 a single, fragile population was discovered. Now, thanks to monitoring and habitat conservation efforts, new populations have been discovered most recently in June on the piece of land that was acquired in 2008 with funds from FCER supporters. The addition of this protected area provides needed habitat for this and other rare species to reproduce and repopulate in safety.

Green eyed frog close up
On the Rebound: The Green-eyed frog

Kids in Action

Nine year old Deborah Anson has visited Costa Rica with her parents, Karen and David, and decided instead of birthday presents this year, she would raise money to help the forest. Here’s why:

I think it is important to protect the Children’s Eternal Rainforest because it saves hundreds of trees, plants, insects and animals.  If everyone works on saving just a little, together we will be saving acres and acres of paradise.  It is important to save trees because they give us shade, oxygen, food, medicine, shelter and they are fun to climb in.  Humans are partners with them because what they breathe out we breathe in.  This is like being good friends.  Many trees added up makes a forest.  When I’m in a tree, I feel calm, happy and fun, and I’m glad that I’m not in school.  I helped the rainforest by giving massages and giving up presents for my birthday and collecting donations for CER.  I charged .25$ per massage, but I made a lot of tips.  My friends also helped me give massages.  We helped to save some rainforest animals.  When I found out that I raised $500 I stood in front of the mirror and I thought “how can somebody so short save so many acres of rainforest.  I can make a big difference even though I’m just a kid.”  I would like to see other people plant trees, ride bikes, pick up litter and play in the mud with me.  I am also making mud bowls and selling them.  You could have a fund raiser, a yard sale, you could sell things you made to raise money.   I wish people could convince my mom that we need to move to a tropical island that has a rainforest on it.

Deborah Anson
Nine year old Deborah Anson raised almost $500 for the forest!

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FCER is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the support, protection and expansion of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Monteverde, Costa Rica by raising awareness, engaging community and inspiring action!

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