Cloud Forest Festival!

This month marks the 21st anniversary of Cloudbridge Nature Reserve, and we have celebrated with many fun and educational activities, culminating in the second annual Cloud Forest Festival.  This festival brought together community members, local entrepeneurs (such as doña Leila, doña Vera and don Edgardo, pictured), and our program participants, for a full day of birding, trees, art and discussion!

We are glad that various local local families decided to join in the day´s activities, which included a bird tour and a plant tour, in addition to a lovely nature-art activity and a great presentation and rich discussion about climate change and spirituality, led by local UNA professor Esteban Montero. Visitors were able to learn more about what our researchers and local environmental organizations are doing by visiting their stands, and throughout the day local artists and artisans were offering their work.

As part of the celebration, Cloudbridge also collaborated with the environmental education program of Chirripo National Park to host a workshop for educators about climate change, led by long-time educator Kottie Christie-Blick.  With the participation of environmental educators from as far afield as San Vito and Gutiérrez Braun, and a strong representation of local environmental organizations as well as schooteachers, this event was a great success both for the learning which occurred, as well as for the relationship building which took place.  We invite you to visit the website that Kottie´s schoolchildren have created:  Kids against climate change.

Program Participants

Hi! I’m Kottie Christie-Blick from New York. I’m here at Cloudbridge for 2 ½ weeks as a volunteer working on climate change education and communication. As a Climate Change Education Consultant and an Instructor for the University of San Diego, I help teachers design lessons in climate change that address their curriculum requirements. At Cloudbridge, I was able to provide a workshop for local formal and informal educators interested in learning engaging teaching strategies, and age-appropriate science content on climate change, for children of different ages. It was also pure joy working with the children of Buena Vista School, encouraging them to value clean air and the natural environment, and launching the Cloudbridge Poster Project: More Clean Air. Less Climate Change. I enjoyed working with the staff of Cloudbridge Nature Reserve throughout my stay, and am in awe of all the work they do to provide this special place for people to increase their knowledge of natural systems and fall in love with nature.

Hi! My name is Ellie from England and I am studying bird community composition in different forest types on the reserve. I’m here for 10 weeks and am very excited to see what I find! I am an avid photographer and have photographed many exciting species so far.

Hi, my name is Esteban Montero, I am an environmental science scientist with a master in Climate Studies with specialization in Ecological and Agroecological Systems from Wageningen University and Research in The Netherlands. I work as a researcher and consultant in topics that span from climate modelling to ecosystem services and biodiversity assessments under global change scenarios. My collaborations at national and international level includes organizations such as UNESCO, International Conservation and research institutions such as the Water and Global Change Observatory of the University of Costa Rica. I have been teaching university courses related to Climate Change Biology, Hidroclimatology and Natural Resources for bachelor students and the course Climate Change and Agroecology for the master program in Ecological Agriculture at the National University (CR). Lately, I have been equally interested in exploring the intersection between science, arts and spirituality as tools for reaching a needed deep change of the global citizenship towards the ongoing environmental crisis we have created.

Pics from around the Reserve

We are so pleased to have had a couple of camera-trap sightings of this beautiful jaguar who is spending some time on the reserve!

Photo credit: Ellie Hawcutt. @fixingtheearth


Photo credit: Ellie Hawcutt.  @fixingtheearth


Photo credit: Oliver Bevilacqua


Photo credit: Sophie Fabery de Jonge

Cloudbridge ally Silvia Cascante is a member of the student conservation Grupo Arlequin, as well as a founder and leader of the Volunteer Fire-fighting Brigade Bosque Verde.

Suggested Reading

  • Education about climate change in an age-appropriate context is very important, which is why this monthwe were delighted to host a workshop on the subject.  The state of New Jersey is leading the way in the USA with having this topic be addressed in primary schools, as described in this article.
  • As climate change continues to manifest in more cataclysmic events, the resilience of our social and ecological systems will be tested in ways that would have previously seemed unimaginable.  As this article explores, the mental health impacts of living in these transformative times can be greatly mitigated by channneling our feelings into climate action.
  • These actions can happen in unexpected places, such as the cartographer Molly Burhans, who is working with the Catholic Church to try and make sure that this institutions considerable land-holdings be managed in a sustainable manner.
  • 41 Costa Rican firefighters, including San Gerardo community members, are currently supporting the efforst to contain the terrible wildfires in Canada.  We invite you to read this article to find out more.


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