Kids Saving the Rainforest

KSTR – August 2017

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By Lexi Baca

Hello my dear readers! I am back, yet again, with another article. Last month, I spent a few weeks traveling around Central America, visiting Guatemala (More like Guatebueno!), Belize, and Honduras. While each place was beautiful in its own way, I did feel a longing for a comfort that I had allowed myself to be used to: clean water! As shocking as it is, in many places there is not a fresh and constant supply of water that you can drink…even in places with lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and ocean all around. We had to drink only out of water bottles and spend much more money than we usually would on water…and don’t get me started on the plastic waste. And that was only for a few weeks! So, this is your reminder about how lucky we are in Costa Rica, that clean water mustn’t be taken for granted!

My sister and me under a 400 year old ceiba tree in Tikal, Guatemala
My sister and me under a
400 year old ceiba tree in
Tikal, Guatemala

And while we’re talking about things that we need every day in life that we shouldn’t take for granted, let’s talk about air! Or what gives us the clean and fresh air we breathe, trees! It’s rainy season in the rainforest, and this time of year is great for KSTR because it’s when we get to plant trees. This year, we have a new challenge: reforesting 94,000 trees! KSTR was donated 117 hectares to reforest a teak farm. So far this year, we have planted 2,950 trees (not including our July effort), and we will keep going until the rainy season stops. If you have saplings to donate or can provide transport so that we can plant, email me at [email protected] for more information. If you can’t make it to one of our plantings and would like to plant trees yourselves, below are some great tips!

Dig a hole the size that is needed to plant the tree.  The circumference of the hole should be about twice the size of the root base and 1 inch deeper.  When planting trees that will be large as adults, plant trees 5 meters apart.  If planting trees that will grow to be smaller, you can place them 3 meters apart from each other.

Our amazing volunteers at the April tree planting
Our amazing volunteers at the April tree planting

Cut and clean the roots, then remove the weeds of the surrounding area where the tree is going to be planted, carefully using a machete to do so.
Carefully remove the plastic bag from around the sapling, making sure not to lose the dirt that is surrounding the roots of the tree.

Place the tree in the hole carefully, making sure the roots are extended and cautiously placed.
It is recommended to put a little dirt, a little fertilizer, (if you use more it will burn the tree so just use small amounts) and then fill the hole with dirt.

Pack the dirt well and make a little hill of dirt above the level of the hole so that the rains will compact the dirt.  By packing the dirt well, rainwater can’t fill the hole with water, drowning the tree.
In the rainforest, if planting during rainy season, no need to water.  However, if you live in a drier climate, be sure to water the tree daily until it is established.

Well, that’s all the time we have for today. Now go, put the magazine down, and plant some trees! Have an awesome day, and remember, our Earth is not something to be wasteful with!