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47 Reviews
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February 24, 2012

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1 previous review
February 23, 2011

I moved to Costa Rica hoping to be able to engage in reforestation and wildlife preservation efforts. I met Roberta and Daniel of La Reserva Forest Foundation at their first ever fundraiser. Despite h... more

February 24, 2012

I have nothing positive to say at this date. Sorry.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unsure

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

None

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 23, 2011

I moved to Costa Rica hoping to be able to engage in reforestation and wildlife preservation efforts. I met Roberta and Daniel of La Reserva Forest Foundation at their first ever fundraiser. Despite having virtually no funding or support at that time, they were planting trees anywhere they could get an agreement from landowners. I was moved by their dedication and commitment to reforestation and habitat restoration. I am proud to work with La Reserva regularly and have seen the foundation take on bigger challenges and become better organized and more effective in our efforts. Community outreach, educational programs, nursery creation projects, animal rehabilitation and reintroduction and biological corridor program, and ongoing forest docent programs along with cultural restoration projects are among the expanding efforts being made at La Reserva. In 2009 we planted 10,000 trees and more still in 2010. Other lands we have reforested are showing signs of returning fauna and diversification of flora in the few short years since being planted! This makes me even more excited about the work we do with La Reserva Forest Foundation. Roberta Ward Smiley and Daniel Spreen are a true inspiration and deserve to be supported and encouraged in their work at La Reserva Forest Foundation.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

revisiting reforested sites and seeing the return of the forest slowly but surely. I have helped rehabilitate injured wildlife and participated in release programs. I have participated in tours that leave the people fascinated and excited about forests and the importance of trees. I have seen the hillsides that were denuded become thick with trees and felt the change in local climate as a result of having more forested areas to trap moisture and clouds.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to secure some form of regular funding to support La Reserva. Being a foundation, La Reserva spends all their funds on reforestation. No money is provided for administration and no money is provided for personal compensation. This means that Dan and Roberta are always at the edge, financially speaking. If I could find a way to alleviate that, I would make that change.

April 6, 2010

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April 6, 2010

After one walk through the restored tropical forest with Roberta as guide, we were transformed and have committed ourselves to helping La Reserva grow and mature, just like the trees they plant. If a dozen people in powerful positions would take that walk, the world would be a different place.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

planning future strategy and governance concepts.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Establish a governance structure that would attract massive donations for this excellent cause.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the transformative effect of our tour through the regenerated forest with Roberta as a knowledgeable guide to describe the interdependencies and connectedness of a mature tropical forest. It was an ecological epiphany.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, enthusiastic and knowledgeable, from all walks of life and background. In many ways the volunteers are quite different, but when viewing LRFF all sing the same hymn.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

evolve into a mature, well-founded organization with sufficient facilities and scope to become a world-class case example in how a dedicated group can work with the Earth to heal herself.

Ways to make it better...

LRFF had a permanent Resource Center as a hub for all of its diverse activities.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Sufficient sustainable funding for operations and new projects.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Tell all your contacts to add this to their emails: "Support reforestation - go to LRFF.org"

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 3, 2010

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April 3, 2010

My husband and I helped to plant trees last fall with other industrious volunteers. Roberta and Dan are extremely dedicated to reforestation and their enthusiasm is highly contagious. I now am involved in the monthly meetings and in a small way assisted with fundraising. It has been a very rewarding and positive experience.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing how the trees have grown in such a short period of time and feeling like the plantings make a difference is very rewarding and gives me hope for the future of the planet.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Reforest a good deal of Costa Rica

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 3, 2010

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April 3, 2010

While there are various organizations that are involved in planting or re-planting in deforested areas, La Reserva also makes an impact with education. Yes, they have planed over 10,000 trees, they have also "planted" the idea that the disaster of deforestation can be reversed. They have talked with, and educated local land owners, and school children regarding the importance of this project and the positive impact that it can have for all of us. Additionally, with the tours of the already re-forested land that Dan and Roberta have converted from pasture to jungle, they have been able to educate people from all over the world. Without exception, those who experience the tours come away with a completely different outlook as to the possibilities of reversing the damage that humans have inflicted on our environment. They deserve all of the credit for accomplishing this and with proper funding there is no limit as to what further could be accomplished.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing and showing the possibility of reforestation to people from all over the globe.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The enthusiasm and dedication of the directors of this organization.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Plant 20 million trees, or more, and educate the people of Guanacaste, and all who come to see the importance and feasibility of this project.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 3, 2010

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April 3, 2010

I was a volunteer at La Reserva Forest Foundation for a month last year. It was an amazing experience doing hands on work to restore native tropical forest. During my time I was also exposed to some great literature provided by Dan and Roberta on restoration and environmental conservation in Costa Rica. While volunteering I worked on biological corridors as living fences, planted over a thousand seeds in the native plant nursery, and learned about tropical forest ecology. I liked the reserve and the work they are doing so much that I returned again this year and volunteered for a few days helping plant trees, repair living fences, and enjoying nature hikes through the reserve. This place has opened a new passion in me and I have the highest regard for the work that Roberta and Dan are doing for the environment. I hope that through the various ways they are conducting outreach that the foundation will be able to do more good for the local community and also for the global community who either knowing it or not, relies on these forests for a better Earth.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

expanding my knowledge of tropical forest ecology and dynamics. I have seen a lot of wildlife while volunteering at La Reserva that I would not have been able to had I not submerged myself in the life of the forest.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with Dan and Roberta who have dedicated themselves to this organization, building it from the ground up. Every time I have a communication with them I learn something new and I am given new resources to facilitate a broader education for myself.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reforest and protect huge swaths of native forest that would connect critical habitat for migrating animals.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 2, 2010

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April 2, 2010

My husband and I took a tour of LaRserva alittle over a year ago. We were so impressed with what Dan & Roberta were doing we went back to the states, sold our house, and moved here to be a part of this special nonprofit.We're not the only ones who are here to volunteer.Everyone envoled with LRFF has the same passion. They don't just plant trees.It's very important to LRFF that the Ticos[Costa Ricans] are payed for their work.They plant the native trees and maintain them for two years. The forest, once planted, grows back to its thick, lush, green beauty.This is the natural habit of the sloth, birds,butterflies,puma, and our beloved monkeys to name a few animal species. Just last week at LRFf a pair of white face monkeys were spotted. Roberta last saw them here 15 years ago. They are coming back because they have the corridors now.LRFF plants to connect the forest areas to become large corridors so the animal habitat can travel and multiply in thier natural eco system.The indigenous people look to the forest for their food and natural medicines. This just touches the surface of what LRFF is all about.Please go to webb site WWW.LRFF.ORG. Come to La Reserva ,meet Roberta &Dan;,take a tour and see for yourself.The tour starts at thier house. There is no ticket office or snack bar. After the tour you go back to the house and have a cold drink. LaReserva is truely a "grass root" organization. That's why we're here and we're loving every minute of it. We just need the money to plant. Come experience the feeling of planting a native tree in the forest.LET'S GET PLANTING! That's our motto.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being part of planting over 1,000 trees in the short time I've been here.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

see it grow into a self sustaining foundation with and endowment that would allow it to go on forever.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The actual experience of putting a tree in the ground and seeing the plant and animal species coming back.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The staff Tomas who helps with the tours and Omar who helps with all the work at LaReserva are the only payed staff. The staff, Dan, Roberta and all the volunteers were passinate about reforesting,maintianing and educating.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Have the endowment for LaReserva to continue planting, maintianing and educating for ever. 10 million trees would be planted. All over the world.

Ways to make it better...

we could get more trees planted.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

finding the funds we need to plant more and have a resourse building. Funding to connect the corridors from the base of the Amazon in Ecuador thru Central Amercia.Funding to pay the people not to clear cut.

One thing I'd also say is that...

LaReserva is a "grass root" organization.I'v worked with a lot of non profits and I've never experienced the passion every person has for what LaReserva is doing.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 2, 2010

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April 2, 2010

My husband and I went on a forest tour at La Reserva Forest Foundation and were astonished at how quickly the native tropical forest has regenerated from cleared cattle pasture in just 10-15 years. We were also amazed at how much this dedicated group of volunteers has been able to accomplish with very few resources. They create miracles from nothing!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

working with local landowners to reforest their pasture lands - restoring animal habitat.

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very knowledgeable and completely dedicated to the organization's mission and objectives

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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