Trees are our best allies. They absorb carbon emissions, regulate Earth’s temperatures, protect our water, and more. But they can only do their incredible work when we do ours properly. Tree-planting, which takes place in the short-term, does not do the holistic job of tree-growing, which is a long-term commitment that starts with thoughtful analysis well before a tree is planted and lasts indefinitely, even after a solid forest is standing. It involves selecting the right species for a particular location, caring for saplings during their vulnerable infancy, all the while engaging ongoing community support and investment to ensure the forest will not be cut down twenty years down the road.
Finca Cántaros Environmental Association has initiated several “tree-growing” projects that not only aim to provide ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, protect water and enhance biodiversity, but also serve as educational spaces for the community.
Finca Cántaros has been awarded a Level I Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum, for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens. The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. Finca Cántaros is also now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants.
The Children’s Forest of Coto Brus is a collaborative environmental education and forest restoration project between Finca Cántaros Environmental Association and multiple community partners including San Vito Bird Club, Las Cruces Biological Station and Osa Conservation. It aims to expand the reach of the existing forest of Finca Cántaros, a reforestation project started by Gail Hull in 1994 when she bought the property, and supporting the regional AmistOsa Biological Corridor efforts. The goal of this long-term “tree-growing” as opposed to short-term “tree-planting” project is to engage the participants in learning about and connecting to their forest over the years to come.
Finca Cántaros has partnered with Osa Conservation to support forest restoration in the AmistOsa Biological Corridor by forming part of their tree nursery network. The Osa Conservation-Finca Cántaros tree nursery is a win-win for both organizations. Finca Cántaros supports Osa Conservation in its mission to propagate thousands of native tree species to be planted out in restoration projects across the corridor by providing the space for the tree nursery and covering a percentage of maintenance costs. It is also an excellent environmental education space, as Osa Conservation staff create wonderful hands-on learning experiences for participants in the Finca Cántaros environmental education programs as well as volunteers working with both of our organizations.