All of us creatures great and small at RLG and LGF invite you to join us in an act of green as we celebrate the 45th Anniversary of Earth Day!

April 2015
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Join Us In an Act of Green

By Mary Ann Beauchemin

Las Gralarias Foundation

As Earth Day approaches, many of us are thinking about an overt act of green, something that attests to our respect for the natural world, celebrates our enjoyment of nature’s beauty, and gives voice to our concern for the environment. That’s why we at LGF set April 22 as the culmination of our Matching Grant Fund developed to help us purchase a new area of cloud forest for Reserva Las Gralarias. It makes for the perfect opportunity to perform an act of green!

In 1998, Jane Lyons started Reserva Las Gralarias when she purchased the initial parcel of land. She moved to live full-time at the farm in 2003 and in the next year began serious, proactive re-vegetation work on the 7.5 hectares comprising the farm at that time. Later, the Las Gralarias Foundation was created by supporters in the U.S. and donations helped with the purchase of more land.

Jane, her staff, and Las Gralarias Foundation supporters and volunteers have worked hard at reforestation, and the reserve has grown from 7.5 hectares of farm land overrun with invasive African Honey Grass to 425 hectares of prime Ecuadorian cloud forest habitat.

At the beginning, we had no idea which tree species could be planted to regenerate the cloud forest and even which animal and plant species lived in the remnants of the reserve that were still forested. Over the years, researchers from around the world have come to catalog and study life in the Ecuadorian cloud forest at RLG.  

We have successfully planted numerous hardwoods, even a tree species once classified as extinct! We’ve identified many of the beautiful orchids and other native wildflowers and plants that live in the reserve. Today we know that Las Gralarias is home to 11 rare species of frogs and many other amphibians, over 35 species of mammals, hundreds of species of moths and butterflies, and many more insects. All of this is in addition to the growing populations of many cloud forest birds who have responded to the reforestation of their native habitat.

Because of its importance, we want to protect and restore the entire upper watershed of the Santa Rosa River. Your donation will help purchase the necessary land to complete an essential conservation corridor of some 3 square kilometers, or almost 2 square miles. 

Since we started the matching gift campaign in mid-December, LGF supporters have donated $7,802. These donations are being tripled by anonymous donors, meaning that we have added $23,406 to our Habitat Acquisition Fund in four months! This is a wonderful effort for a small non-profit organization.

A very special THANK YOU goes to all who have contributed so far and have taken advantage of the great opportunity to triple your donation. How much we appreciate your lending your efforts toward conservation!

To all who have yet to find the time to make a donation, please remember that whatever you donate will be tripled, making this campaign a fantastic opportunity to multiply the value of your donation. Your $25 turns into a $75 donation, $100 becomes $300, $1000 swells to $3000!

Our three anonymous donors are willing to triple match up to $20,000. If we could reach this goal, we would instantly find ourselves with $60,000 for our land purchase.

I hope you’ll consider celebrating the 45th anniversary of Earth Day by sending some green our way to increase the reserve and protect the amazing cloud forest in Ecuador. Make your donation through PayPal or JustGive today! Or you can mail a check to: Las Gralarias Foundation, 24140 Gessner RD, North Olmsted, OH 44070

Last of all, consider inviting others to support LGF’s fund-raising campaign by forwarding this Chirp to anyone you think might be interested in helping out. Share us on your Facebook page and be sure to let folks know that any donation will be tripled AND 100% of any donation goes to buying critical cloud forest habitat.

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Photo Credits: RLG before and after courtesy of Jane Lyons; Long-snouted Cutin Frog, beetle, katydid, and orchid courtesy of Tim Krynak; Toucan Barbet and Fawn-breasted Brilliant Hummingbird courtesy of Greg Lambeth