We’re excited to report that we’re about to start two new mapping projects here in Monteverde. The first is a project with La Asociación Conservacionista de Monteverde (ACM), the Monteverde Conservation League. They manage El Bosque Eterno de los Niños (BEN), the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, which at 20,000 hectares is the largest private reserve in Costa Rica. The best part is that the money that put the land into reserve was raised by children all over the world! So next time a little kid comes to your door asking for some pocket change to save the rainforest, take them seriously.
We’ll be making an interactive educational web map for ACM to allow people to explore the reserve from their website. Starting tomorrow we’ll spend a week at the San Gerardo Biological Station (beautiful!) mapping the trails there and collecting photographs and spoonfuls of educational material. We’ll then join a group of ACM rangers on a 3-day hike across BEN from San Gerardo Station to Pocosol, the other field station on the eastern side of BEN. The trail we’ll be taking is brand new and isn’t yet open to anyone except rangers, so we feel lucky to have been invited.
Once we finish the project with ACM, we’ll be starting a mapping project with Guillermo Vargas, who runs a small organic coffee farm here in Monteverde. We’ll be making an educational interactive web map for his farm over the course of five weeks. The purpose of the map is to allow people to explore what is happening on the farm and learn about how sustainable agriculture works, whether they live down the road or halfway across the globe. We’ll be making the maps in TileMill, which allows us to make a custom base map and a beautiful final product. The map will be fully equipped with rich visual content (photos, videos, infographics) and text that provide spoonfuls of educational information to users as they explore the map. Our hope is that maps like these will promote the farm’s sustainable land use practices, propel farm and food education, and benefit Guillermo’s farm and the Monteverde community as a result.
We’re excited to head out into the field tomorrow and celebrate Marty’s 24th birthday (Tuesday) at San Gerardo Station with its big porch and beautiful view. The station is off the grid, so we’ll be out of touch for the next ten days or so. Have a great week!