February 2011

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
— Nelson Henderson
This month we improved our maintenance trail with the help of Hocking College from Ohio.  The trail is now wider and easier to navigate over while carrying trees and equipment.  We are also opening it up to the public for hiking.  I guess we should rename it since it isn’t just for maintenance anymore.  It comes off the main trail and joins with the river trail.  Does anyone have an idea for a new name so that we can put up a sign and add it to the map?

Widening the maintenance trail


The trail completed

The Hocking College students also had time to hike and learn about this part of the country for their eco-tourism studies


Students getting an orientation from director, Tom Gode
The Hocking College gang on a hike with Linda the resident arborist.


A wildlife research project that will be ongoing is the tracking of sloths in the area.  These animals all but disappeared in this region probably due to deforestation and hunting.  With an increase in wildlife corridors by pastures returning to forest through natural regrowth, the planting of trees on nature reserves, and a decrease in hunting and poaching we hope to see the return of the sloth.  Our first step was to put up posters asking for any information on the siting of sloths.  We posted these notices at hotels and poperias all the way from San Gerardo de Rivas (near the Cloudbridge Reserve) to the town of Rivas.  After one day we received a call and a sighting near San Francisco ( not the one in California).  The sloth was in a tree along the edge of a forest bordering a coffee field.  Tony, the owner of the property was quite excited to take us there and share in our excitement of this research investigation.  He also reported that his brother had seen one a week earlier in the same area. 


San Francisco two toed sloth


 More trail improvements – Sam is a professional trail builder.  We were lucky to have him volunteer at Cloudbridge for a week and show us how to improve some of the trails.  Wow, can that guy move rocks and soil! 






Stone Steps by Sam



 Geoff from Wilderness Inquiry brought a group of folks to Cloudbridge in February.  They enjoyed a hike to the Catarata Pacifica and were the first to try out Sam’s new trail. 


Wilderness Inquiry group - enjoying the garden



Students from Beacon School , New York City spent a week studying  ecology of the cloud forests.  We divided them into groups focusing on birds, trees and insects. They hiked, collected data, and finished with some interesting and well done presentations.

Students measuring trees
Hiking the old growth forest
The Insect Group


The Bird Group

Tree Group


Class Photo - Beacon School & Cloudbridge staff


Classroom construction this month included the installation of windows, and the start of  work on the micro hydro electric system.

New Windows
Building the Hydro Electric Bodega


Our resident biologists Adam and Annie have been busy providing visitors with information and leading hikes. 

Adam and Annie - A well deserved break


 The Cloudbridge Reserve is interested in community education.  Linda organized a video web conference at the San Gerardo School. This conference was facilitated through » The Rainforest Connection Live»  from Montclair University in New Jersey.  The Students had the opportunity to talk  with scientists from Barro Colorado Island in Panama about the ecology of rainforests.  Their topic was Ocelots.  The teachers were very happy with this presentation and we would like to continue using this educational technology at the school and in our own classroom at Cloudbridge.   A  4-way session was also organized between Cloudbridge representitives,  a school in Saskatoon – Canada,  a school in New Jersey- USA, and a scientist from Barro Colorado – Panama.

San Gerardo students talking to scientists in Panama


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