February program blog

February has been a busy month for us, we have great participants, who have been enjoying the Cloudbridge research and volunteer program, in addition to some activities off the reserve, such as a traditional Costa Rican meal hosted by Doña Leila (main picture, photo credit: Mikayla Eccher).  In addition, our participants were able to support various activities for the community of San Gerardo this month.  Each February, San Gerardo holds its «Fiestas patronales», in which the development association organizes many activities which support the local community, including the arduous Chirripó Race, a soccer tournament, food sales,  and more.  It is always an honor for Cloudbridge and our participants to support the community of San Gerardo, in this case with volunteer labor in the kitchen, as well as the sorting and processing of the recycling (which we do throughout the year).

Cloudbridge director Casey McConnell participated in the 34 km Chirripó race for the first time since 2008. 

Cloudbridge has also continued to fulfill our mission of environmental education this month, in the attention of groups who visit Cloudbridge to learn about the cloud forest and it´s biodiversity and how Cloudbridge has been supporting this important ecosystem.  We are always grateful to hear feedback from participants who express that their experience at Cloudbridge leads them to look at the natural spaces near their homes with greater appreciation.   In addition, this month was the beginning of a new school year in Costa Rica, and once again Cloudbridge will be imparting the CONUBI program in two local schools.  These images are from the first module, in which children learn about the biological corridors and protected areas that are in this region, and play the «Juego de la Conectividad», to illustrate the concept of habitat connectivity.

Each child receives a workbook that shows the National Parks, Forestry Reserves and Biological corridors of this area of Costa Rica. Photo credit: Marylin Rodríguez

Pics from around the reserve

The resplendent Quetzal has been seen around the reserve this month, even near the welcome center! Photo credit: Anthony Garita
Both the female and the male are beautiful and unique. Photo credit: Anthony Garita

Photo credit: Douglas Napier
Photo credit: Douglas Napier

Suggested Reading

  • As you know, the effects of climate change are long-reaching, and will directly impact human health and well-being in many different ways.  Though is is hard to quantify human suffering, policy-makers should base their decisions on meaningful data, such as premature deaths attributable to climate change, as discussed by New York times columnist David Wallace-Wells here.
  • This article details the efforts of some dedicated individuals to study the return of natural ecosystems to areas that had been submerged by Lake Powell, as drought has lowered the level of this massive reservoir.  It is inspiring to see the efforts the group has made to study this unique process as it unfolds.
  • As we have discussed previously, field experiences such as those provided by Cloudbridge Nature Reserve are instrumental in developing the confidence and basic skills for young ecologists to feel comfortable in the unique environments where research takes place.  This article explores the different barriers that can be in place for some students to conduct field work, and how best to overcome them.

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