Project Update: NICFEC Now the Tierra Verde Climate Change Adaptation Center!

by Gemara Gifford, International Director

Since our last update in June, we have been very busy working on the Nicaraguan Center for Forests, Energy & Climate (NICFEC) with our partners at PROLEÑA. Not only have we been working on the buildings, but a new name as well! The Nicaraguan Center for Forests, Energy & Climate will now be the Tierra Verde Climate Change Adaptation Center. Set in one of the driest and most threatened ecosystems on earth, the Pacific Dry Corridor, the Tierra Verde Center is a new regional climate change training facility where diverse stakeholders share knowledge, skills, and strategies in sustainable agriculture, forestry, fuel-efficient technologies, watershed management, soil remediation, and more. Over the last four months, we have nearly completed the dormitory where people from all across the world will be able to be housed to share knowledge on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

NICFEC Dorm
The dormitory for the Tierra Verde Center is nearly complete. It will house visitors while they learn about climate adaptation in Central America.

We have also recently established two tree nurseries at the back of the site, which will soon house 50,000-100,000 native trees for use in reforestation, agroforestry, and fuel-lot projects. Like everything on site, the nurseries will serve as a demonstration. Farmers will be able to see, feel, and touch a tree nursery planted with species that can survive well in the arid climate, as well as learn how to market the products grown from the trees, i.e., fuelwood, poles for construction, fruits and nuts.

NICFEC Tree Nursery
These seedlings growing in the Tierra Verde Center tree nursery will be used for demonstrations.

Perhaps the most exciting achievement was that we hosted our first event at the Tierra Verde Center site since we began construction! While we wish it were under different circumstances, we were able to hold a tree planting ceremony in honor of our dear friend, Lucas Wolf, with a majestic Ceiba tree in his honor. Over 30 people were in attendance from all across the country, many locals and colleagues whom Lucas built relationships with over the past three years in Nicaragua. Lucas was TWP’s International Director, and a dear friend, who passed away suddenly this July while traveling in Cuba.

Lucas' Tree Planting at NICFEC
In honor of Lucas’ birthday, we held a tree planting ceremony at the new the Tierra Verde Center site.

Upon completion in 2018, the Tierra Verde Center will feature live classrooms, workspaces, demonstration gardens, and private cabanas where local and international visitors — from smallholder farmer to high-level decision-maker — can both learn about and participate in climate change adaptation education in the Pacific Dry Corridor. On display will be a variety of demonstrative solutions including clean cookstove designs, fuel-efficient kilns and ovens, solar energy systems, green charcoal technologies, and agroforestry plots that reveal relevant strategies for climate change resilience, especially for local smallholder farmers. We expect to launch programming and tours in 2018!

If you are interested in traveling to Nicaragua with us, or any of our program countries, please sign up for our email list for upcoming trips.

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Northern Haiti Tree Nursery Producing Thousands of Fruit Trees!

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Our friends at SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) sent some beautiful shots of their thriving tree nursery in northern Haiti, near the town of Labadee. In 2012, we partnered with SOIL, Positive Legacy, and Jam Cruise passengers to plant 10,000 fruit trees in this nursery. The trees are looking great and are making their way out to surrounding communities where they will be planted by families and local farmers.
Now, we are raising funds to keep this tree nursery going through 2013! The 10,000 Trees for Haiti campaign will support reforestation, community tree planting, and agricultural education in northern Haiti.
Would you like to help us plant 10,000 more trees in 2013? Make a donation to the “10,000 Trees for Haiti” campaign and it will be matched dollar for dollar!

Project 7 Products Plant Trees, Save The Earth

This gum plants a fruit tree!

Project 7 is a cause-related company that makes everyday goods like coffee, bottled water, gum and mints take on a deeper meaning.  Project 7’s  Save the Earth products help Trees, Water & People plant fruit trees with rural families in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.   So far this year, customer purchases have contributed to planting 27,286 fruit trees, benefiting over 2,500 families by giving them access to fresh fruit that can be consumed and/or sold for extra income.  In addition, fruit trees add beauty to each family’s home.

Funds from this joint venture directly benefit TWP partners like  Arboles y Agua para el Pueblo (AAP) in  El Salvador.  AAP is a dedicated team that makes our detailed nursery work possible.

The AAP team take a break from working the nursery.

Their efforts to meticulously collect seeds, make compost,  fill each bag with soil, plant each seed, water 40,000 seedlings daily,  and watch them grow into trees make our nurseries a community-led success. When the time is right and the rains have fallen, our reforestation team facilitates workshops to educate families about the importance of tree planting and how fruit trees can enhance their family’s well-being.

By partnering with forward thinking companies like Project 7 we are collectively helping  thousands of families and making the earth a greener, bountiful, healthier place to live.

Click here to see where you can purchase Project 7 products.

Are you a company interested in partnering with Trees, Water & People? Please call Megan Maiolo at (970) 484-3678 or email megan@treeswaterpeople.org to learn more.

A tree nursery in El Salvador houses over 40,000 seedlings that will soon be planted throughout surrounding communities.