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La Reserva Forest Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Land Resources Conservation

Mission: La Reserva Forest Foundation restores and preserves native tropical forests for all living things by planting diverse tree species, educating people, partnering with land-owners and inspiring all to share our vision.

Geographic areas served: Tropical forest belt around the world

Community Stories

47 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Harold8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

LRFF under the compassionate and dedicated leadership of Roberta Ward Smiley and Daniel Wilson, along with their many amazing volunteers, are bringing about necessary and measurable results. Not only do they positively impact the reforestation in Costa Rica, they are educating and inspiring countless others around the world to embark on similar efforts to help restore our precious planet.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Awesome people doing awesome things. A great experience to be a part of the organization and surrounded by positive energy and influential people.

1 Liz_44

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

La Reserva Forest Foundation (LRFF) in Tilaran/Costa Rica.... founded by Roberta Ward Smiley and Daniel Spreen Wilson and helped by their local VolunteerTeam and many Volunteers from all over The Globe to restore and preserve the Rainforest in Costa Rica. Roberta, Daniel and their volunteers show us a passionate care & love for Mother Earth and their grand enthusiasm in planting young trees to create this brandnew Rainforest and adding their contribution for the " Good " of Planet Earth! Not only having Heart for Mother Nature but also for their inhabitants in many ways! Connected with LRFF and their great Mission some years ago via The Love Foundationgroup and wishing to them lots of more young trees from People all over the Globe to keep the lungs of Planet Earth clean and all its good effects!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

Like all those people who came and vanished through the passing of time You Roberta with your love of nature ...hands and greasy elbows .... commit in doing what many don't .....You make deserts bloom ......
Good planets are hard to find keep up the good work with La Riserva..................................

2 Karlos S.

Volunteer

Rating: 0

me ha ayudado a hacer algo importe y bueno para el planeta y que ay que ayudarlo siempre porque es lo mas hermoso que dios nos ha dado :)

1 Galii S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

la reserva es una excelente fundacion que ayuda a reforetar los bosques de la zona

Donor

Rating: 5

As a retiree living in Costa Rica, I found myself looking for a volunteer opportunity. Happily, I went to La Reserva!! I found inspiration, friendship and a small group of dedicated folks determined to reforest and restore the natural world - while endlessly and creatively seeking funding. If our planet can be saved from the ravages of humanity, La Reserva will be among the most influential! Micaela

maryblizzard

Board Member

Rating: 5

A real grass-roots organization, LRFF puts all its efforts into planting trees and protecting existing forested areas. We have planted over 100,000 trees in the 6 years we've been in existence and have plans in the works to plant another 70,000! We are helping combat global climate change, protecting water sheds, providing biological corridors for migratory animals, and educating people about the critical role tropical forests play in the health of our planet.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first experienced the work of La Reserva Forest Foundation 6 years ago on a tour through their preserve with Roberta Ward Smiley, founder, as my guide. What she helped me see was that small changes in the environment have a huge impact on all surrounding life. The growth of LRFF over the past few years has been impressive, the most recent project put 38,000 trees in the ground in an area that will improve the lives of flora & fauna and the indigenous people living there. I appreciate being able to work for a non-profit where I know monies raised are NOT being used for advertising or fund-raising but are going directly to reforestation efforts.

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1 Charlotte16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working at La Reserva was the best experience of my life and I feel privileged to have been apart of the wonderful work they do every single day. During my time there I got to see first hand the importance of La Reservas work and work with the people, like the Maleku, whom the charity helps support. I learnt about forest regeneration at all levels and how imperative it is we support the natural regeneration of tropical forests as La Reserva does. I can't recommend this organisation, its work and members enough - if you can support it in anyway it will be one of the best things you do.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working as a volunteer with La Reserva Forest Foundation for almost 3 months now. I have learned and seen alot about this great organisation. The dedication to reforest and preserve the tropical forests is amazing. The people that work here and that work with us are inspiring. La Reserva recently reforested an area near the Rio Sol, its a corridor for flora and fauna to migrate and spread to different locations. These corridors are of high importance and La Reserva is doing a great job creating these corridors. Next to creating corridors and slowly reforesting the world, La Reserva helps the local and/or indiginous people by providing jobs in helping maintaning these reforested areas. Also La Reserva helps in educating those who are involved or interested in reforestation and preservation. I have gain great insights of what I would like to work with in the future. Preserving the worlds tropical forests can be done by giving forests a higher economic value than its destructive values (timber, agriculture), in my opinion carbon sequestration is a great solution. I would highly recommend this organisation to any other future volunteer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer, I served as a founding member of the Board of the La Reserva Forest Foundation, watching it grow from an idea to a committed and energetic leader of reforestation efforts in the Arenal Tempisque Conservation Area, an area cited as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO as one of the most important watersheds in Central America. Inspired by what La Reserva was doing, we planted thousands of trees on our own property nearby and have been rewarded with the creation of a mini biological corridor for hundreds of species. This has been rewarding work indeed, and we applaud the persistence and dedication of La Reserva in creating a new culture of growth and conservation around Lake Arenal.

Previous Stories
6

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a former board member and "volunteer," I was helpful in many ways in the founding and organization of La Reserva. It was intense work, because Roberta and Dan are intensely involved in this project, with a passion for living trees and creating forests to preserve the aquifers and offer opportunities for animal populations to migrate. Costa Rica is one of the most bio-diverse countries on the planet, and we are losing that diversity at an alarming rate. Just one example: the howler monkey population has dropped by 50% in just the last 15 years -- mostly due to loss of habitat, as well as the forest "bridges" that connect one habitat with another. Working with Dan and Roberta is an education -- not just about forests, but about what it means to be so dedicated and energetic in the pursuit of one's dream. Their trajectory over the past few years has been electrifying. They are now known everywhere, including among all the environmental institutions, both public and non-profit. They participate in some of these organizations and carry their message wherever they go -- especially in the local schools. They give tours of the forest they've created, collect seedlings, sell indigenous trees from their nursery, maintain the thousands of trees they've planted, and manage a thorough-going communications program. This is truly an organization worthy of support!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

From my father, with whom i had a more than lifelong sore contact, i inherited money, during his life and after he eventually passed with 86 yrs of age. I was never an example of gratitude, and could have spent it wiser. - The repeating thoughts were, i want your love, and not your money - Slowly though forgiveness and acceptance did seep through, and somehow early this year i needed to do something again. Trees and planting trees, has a place in my heart. Unfortunately I don't have land of my own to plant on. Roberta's dedication and enthusiasm in this had already touched me over the years. In the name of my father i made quite a big donation to LRFF, and now a grove is planted there, with his name. Their response, and the effect it had on me was overwhelming, beyond words. I cried and cried....... Something good happened on various levels.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

La Reserva Forest Foundation is amazing. This foundation has a team of dedicated people who work endlessly to try to make a better world for the rest of us.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The work of La Reserva Forest Foundation is so precious, that all words would be not enough. La Reserva is saving our Earth, in fact is saving us, our civilization.

KC W.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I began working with La Reserva Forest Foundation during college for a Service Leadership class where I consulted a non-profit. I had the privilege of being paired up with LRFF. I noticed from the first second I talked to Roberta that this was truly something special. Her passion was unmatched and her goals were out of this world. I realized that this rubbed off on everyone involved with this organization, which eventually rubbed off on me. Everyone involved has such a strong desire to make the world a better place environmentally, socially, and even economically. Their goals of restoring forest habitats, helping the people of the earth, and helping the economies of poor indigenous people in Costa Rica really spoke to me. It seemed as this non-profit really hit all the bases and did not focus on one issue, but somehow fit a bunch of them even though it was not very big. I have now worked with La Reserva on their board of directors for a year, and it has been a wonderful experience. I highly recommend anyone at all get involved with this non-profit since it is something that everyone can relate. It is a non-profit that you get immediate satisfaction knowing you are making a difference on earth.

Client Served

Rating: 5

La Reserva Forest Foundation is a truly magical place with a tremendous social mission and the staff capable of seeing it to fruition. Roberta and her team are a blessing. To date, they have helped our organization educate over 200+ university students who have taken the positive values and principles of LRFF to heart. The work being done at LRFF is extraordinary and the impact has been clear over the past 3 years of visiting the project sites. Best of luck for continued success.

Roger E.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My reforestation project was one of the first and has been an enormous success. We put in at least 50 different types of trees. The new forest has now a new family of monkeys and untold bird nests. There are now naturally appearing tree sprouts filling in under the larger trees as the forest growth ages. The whole project has been great fun to watch and we get many comments on how fast things can change for the betterment of all. Roger

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I did an internship at La Reserva for 5 months last year working as Executive Assistant to the CEO, Roberta. As a student of Modern Languages (French and Spanish) in England, I am currently undertaking the 'year abroad' aspect of my degree for which I spent my Spanish half in Costa Rica. Roberta was extremely helpful and welcoming from the start, and after a very friendly Skype interview, found me a host family nearby who are friends of hers and Dan's. At La Reserva I was given a wide range of tasks ranging from translations, letter writing and blogging to video making, calendar design, production and promotion and accompanying them on day trips to Maleku tribal villages! Roberta, Dan (Roberta's partner), Suzy (the very friendly Chihuahua cross who greeted me every day with excitable muddy paws), Gino (the Great Dane who greeted me every day with a very large not-overly-pleasant slobbery kiss), the La Reserva parrot and Squeak the loudest snoring cat I have ever met, really have something special at La Reserva. Even the walk up is pretty surreal, with captivating views out over Lake Arenal and Arenal Volcano looming in the distance, quite often a rainbow or two framing the idyllic scene following the afternoon rains in wet season. The work that La Reserva does is innovative, wide ranging and essential to the survival of the rainforest and its inhabitants both human and animal. The unconditional love that Roberta and Dan have for the earth and its inhabitants is really rather inspiring and it is their enthusiasm and passion that keep LRFF going through thick and thin. I had a fantastic time in Costa Rica working at La Reserva, and I am hoping this summer to return or to volunteer in some way from England, possibly to help set up an LRFF UK!

Helena B.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am so amazed by the dedication and progress of La Reserva Forest Foundation. They have planted over 70,000 trees in the past four years. I feel grateful to be able to help my planet by donating to people who are willing to go out in to the jungle, trudge through the rivers and dig in the dirt to lovingly plant trees. I like to help physically plant the trees as well but I donate as much as I can to support this very important work. Trees produce oxygen and clean our air what could be more important?

Midge S.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been to La Reserva and had a wonderful experience there. These people care so very much and work so very hard. We saw some of the trees they had planted and how much they had changed the environment. Great Job!!