Blog Post by Marina Garrido, Restoration Research Field Assistant
Recent Restoration Success at Osa Conservation
Over the past months, the Osa Verde Restoration Plots have been the liveliest place on our property. Wondering why? During this time, we have worked and successfully planted 14,000 trees! A large hard-working team is behind this incredible project. But one of the main pillars of our restoration success is Agustin Mendoza.
A Conversation with Agustin Mendoza
Early Experiences with Forest Restoration
Agustin is someone I have been amazed by since I joined the Osa Conservation family. Every time I talk with him, I learn something new about Osa’s forests. Thus, I couldn’t resist joining him for a cup of coffee:
- When did you become interested in reforestation?
I was very young, when I was just seven years old. My father taught me how to plant and take care of trees. I used to plant different native fruiting tree species on my family’s farm. This is when I realized how beautiful and rewarding it was to plant a tree and watch it grow.
- Your passion for reforestation started at a very young age: How did you come to join the Osa Conservation team?
Before Osa Conservation, I worked on reforesting Cerro Osa for the founder of Osa Conservation; Adrian Forsyth. Then I started working on every reforestation project I could, planting different native tree species across the Osa. One project took to another and then I began to lead the reforestation efforts at Osa Conservation. The first trees I planted for Osa Conservation are currently 30-40 meters tall.
- This year, the reforestation project has taken on an innovative project with the balsa experiment. What do you think about this project? Do you like the idea of focusing restoration efforts on an experiment in hopes of future reforestation successes?
I like it a lot. I love the idea of trying new ways to speed up forest recovery and bringing back the ecological interactions you would normally find in a healthy forest. Also, with the species we have planted, they will require more care, and there is nothing I would love more than to help these little trees grow.
- Do you have a particular project you would like to accomplish in the future?
I would love to share my knowledge with more local people. Give them seeds and show them how to grow them so they can reforest their farms. Then, everyone will see how beautiful reforestation is.
- Would you like to send a message to everyone who is reading this?
Take care of the forest, it is our responsibility to protect it. The forest gives us everything we need without us asking; in exchange, we have to help, for nature’s well-being and our own. It’s easy, we just need to take the step and be conscious of our actions.