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New Trees Take Roots in Guiones

By Adam Dietrich

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, or so the saying goes. In Guiones if at first you plant 1000 trees and they die, try again.

Over the course of three days from May 27-29 over 70 community members turned out to help plant 310 trees along the southern part of Playa Guiones. Although substantially less than the number of trees planted last year, organizers are more confident these ones will survive.

The initiative was a collaborative effort between Harmony Hotel’s Sustainability Coordinator, Gerardo Bolaños Céspedes and Costa Verdes, a reforestation organization with projects across Costa Rica. It was the Nosara Civic Association who initially put up the money last year to involve Costa Verdes, however, since then financially and logistically Bolaños has been the driving force in Guiones, according to Costa Verdes director Daniel Uribe.

Organizers are hoping fewer trees will die this year, “last year the mortality rate was close to 80% of what we planted,” said Bolaños. 

This year they have made some changes though. Two tons of organic worm compost were purchased by Harmony Hotel and delivered by Costa Verdes, in addition Costa Verdes brought young trees to Harmony Hotel’s nursery to let them grow and acclimatize to the soil and microclimate here.

Bolaños said they have learned from their mistakes last year, “the trees last year were too young and we didn’t use compost, the trees this year were put in the ground in worm compost,” which according to Bolaños is the best type of compost for encouraging growth.

Local surfer Cristian Santamaria leads the youngest group of volunteers.
Gerardo Bolanos Harmony Hotel Sustainable Coordinator explains to the kids
how to plan the trees

Projects like this take time according to Uribe, “reforestation projects like these take a few years to get started, you need the right trees, soil and planting technique and you can’t be discouraged by the mortality rate,” he said. 

Uribe also points to Playa Hermosa, where a reforestation effort has been underway since 2009, he said they are now starting to see successful results.

The challenge though is going to be maintaining the healthy trees; Uribe said they are looking for a way to make that happen. “We hope a business in the community will step up and help to pay for the cost of having someone whose job is to maintain the trees,” said Uribe.

The community was very much involved in planting the trees this year. On Tuesday the planters were joined by 35 students from Del Mar Academy who energetically went to work planting trees, there was also a lot of local surfers out planting. Bolaños was particularly pleased with that, “it’s all of our beach but they’re the ones here the most, it’s great they want to help and contribute positively.”

Both Bolaños and Uribe said this project will continue next year, building on what they learned last year, and what they will learn this year, the ultimate goal is to reforest the whole of Playa Guiones.


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Crowdfunding Helps NY Architecture Students Build Nosara Recycling Center

A group of architecture students from New York are planning to come to Nosara in July to help build the much needed recycling center for the community. They are currently raising funds on Kickstarter, an online funding platform for creative projects, to help them with their expenses while volunteering in Nosara, as well as to help fund a professional documentary film about the project in order to share this important initiative with a larger audience.

Red Tide Levels Not Toxic in April

Several hundred fish turned up dead at the Boca of Nosara on April 8th, and the suspected culprit is red tide. While that may provoke fear that the phenomenon is here in full force, the Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuicultura (INCOPESCA- Costa Rican Institute of Fishing and Agriculture) red tide commission indicates that the danger for humans is minimal.

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