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maraleen manos-jones

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Review for Forests for Monarchs, La Cruz Habitat Protection Project, Austin , TX, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I am proud to be part of this organization that planted 600,000 more trees in 2011, bringing the cumulative total to close to six million trees in Central Mexico over the last 15 years. These trees protect the monarch butterflies overwintering habitats, help the indigenous people and benefit the environment, locally and globally. I am also proud that this year LCHPP added a new project: Forests for Haiti. Jose Luis Alvarez, the head of LCHPP- Mexico and Javier Hinojosa, a respected Mexican forester, went to Haiti to help a poor community, Bois Neuf, start a tree nursery. They worked in collaboration with The Haitian People's Support Project. They have just returned from a follow up visit 7 months later. The nursery has already planted many of the 200,000 various seedlings they started, including fruit, nut and medicinal trees in addition to ones to provide cooking fuel and others to protect the soil and water. There are always many challenges, but progress is being made and people's lives are being positively impacted, the whole community is involved and that is wonderful. We hope to raise enough funds to help establish another nursery in another community in Haiti. Of course, our work in Mexico is needed now more than ever and we need to continue to plant more trees there as well.

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Role:  Board Member

Review for Forests for Monarchs, La Cruz Habitat Protection Project, Austin , TX, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been raising, releasing and tagging monarchs since 1972 and in ’77 went in search of their winter hideaway in Mexico, which I found after a two month search. The next couple of years I had the great honor to camp out for weeks at a time among millions upon millions of monarchs. While there in 1979, deforestation was beginning to be a problem and has only accelerated at a rapid pace since then, threatening the monarchs, the habitat that protects them and the well being of the local impoverished people.

Having returned to Mexico almost every year since then, and vowing to do something to honor, respect and protect these sacred mountains and their inhabitants, I searched for solutions to the seemingly intractable cycle of poverty and environmental degradation.

It took many years before I found Jose Luis Alvarez and La Cruz Habitat Protection Project. He and his organization were carrying out my longstanding dream. Here was a sustainable reforestation program that was intelligently and successfully restoring forests in and around the monarchs over wintering habitats in Mexico while addressing the needs of the local impoverished people.

After visiting the nursery and the reforested sites, I became an avid supporter in 1999. LCHPP’s Forests for Monarchs project has grown over the years from a modest beginning in 1997 when it convinced 4 families to plant 7,000 trees, to the summer of 2010’s planting of 673,000 trees, bringing the cumulative to total to over 5 million trees, always at the low cost of 50 cents a tree.

This is an innovative and effective program that is much needed and deserves all our support, for the health of the monarchs and for the health of our planet. I am proud to have become a member of the Board of Directors.

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

I have seen the ingenious improvements at the LCHPP nursery and have visited the reforested sites and met the families who have planted LCHPP's trees. I've witnessed the positive impact this program has had on the environment and for the people.

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

I think this organization does a great job and would like to see both its reforestation and educational programs expand, grow and be duplicated.

Role:  Board Member & I became more involved in supporting this organization.