Welcome back Holly Mckelvey. Holly is a former GVI researcher who has returned temporarily to take over as manager while Tom is away for July and August. She was one of the first two volunteers to develop and initiate our biological survey program. This appointment will give her a chance to observe some of the results from the last 2 years.
Tree planting season continues and as usual there is always help from volunteers who want to contribute to reforestation efforts. Bill Green and Beth Cooley who are residing this year in San Gerardo, volunteered to help plant some of the seedlings along the ridge trail. They have also volunteered their talented services of photography for the reserve.
Once again we had help from the Quebec students with the organization ARO. They were enthusiastic tree planters. We hope that they enjoyed their day of contributing to the reforestation of Costa Rica. Thank you to all of the ARO staff for organizing the groups that came up to the reserve to help with all of our projects this year.
Other volunteers, Kevin, Adam, Sarah, Tim, Taran, and Alexadra helped out with tree planting, tree maintenance, and constructing of a propagation area.
A volunteer’s thoughts:
«I really want to thank everyone at Cloudbridge and the people from the village. This Project has given me so much more then what I expected, as I didn’t really care much about stuff that is going on in the world, I knew about the problems in the world – about killing our own planet but I thought I couldn’t do anything about it. But I was wrong. I can remember my first day at Cloudbridge very well. I was just blown away by the beauty of the nature and it was a feeling I really can’t express in words. I’ve never seen anything like this before. It was stunning! Back in Germany we have some nice places too but when you really think about it we don’t have anything like this. First I was thinking that I as a single human being can’t do anything about loosing nature in the world. But I realized everything around me that I saw was planted by man – first destroyed, then reforested by man. I saw the before and after pictures on the wall in the classroom and I have to admit I was speechless. Cloudbridge managed to patch the wounds made by man. I guess you can look it up on the Website. All this in 10 years – what a difference. I have to say I am really proud of what I did at Cloudbridge and I accomplished something that the animals here will benefit from. It’s a great feeling!
I was ignorant in the past. I had a great Job in Germany. I was surrounded by people who think that making money and good looks are the most important things in the world. When I think about it, I have to admit I was one of them. In our project at Cloudbridge there were some local villagers who did a great Job with helping us, and somehow I looked up to them because they showed me that my past attitude is not the right one. They didn’t say anything but I learned a lot from them just from listening and watching. They have a harder life than me and they don’t say anything bad about it. In my old life I was yelling and screaming about stupid stuff that made stress – the city sickness is what I call it, Senseless stuff, self made problems that I’ve made myself. This experience will change my point of view in many ways and already affects my way of thinking about the world. I came to the conclusion that I will do more for nature. I have so many good memories, the people from the village who recycled with us, the crystal clear river, and the many animals that you hear and see everyday. This is something that is getting rare and its up to us to keep and protect it and make it bigger when we get the chance to, and as I said, I saw that it is possible!»
Veronica is from an Island belonging to the French Republic – Reunion Island. It is situated in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. She has extensive experience with the identification of orchids, and came to Costa Rica to explore the region and research orchid species here.
Veronica recorded 130 species of orchids blooming from February to July 2013 throughout the Cloudbridge Nature Reserve and Chirripo National Park. She hosted a public presentation of her findings at the Giddy Environmental Learning Centre here on the Cloudbridge reserve.