Reforestation Process in “La Sabana de San José” Comes to an End After 13 Years

    Wood extracted from felled trees was used by judicial inmates to make furniture

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    After 13 years and within the framework of National Tree Day, the “Una Nueva Sabana” re-tree project, in the La Sabana Metropolitan Park, comes to an end. The completion of the reforestation process was announced on Tuesday by the Costa Rican Sports and Recreation Institute (ICODER) and Scotiabank, in charge of this project that began in 2008.

    In the 64 hectares of this green corridor in the center of San José, 3,262 trees that were diseased or that were not native to the Costa Rican soil were cut, for example the cypresses or the pines that predominate in the park.

    Technical Study of Rearborization of the La Sabana Metropolitan Park

    The “Technical Study of Rearborization of the La Sabana Metropolitan Park” pointed out the need to replace more than 3,200 trees that were overmature or diseased with various fungi and bacteria, or dead, which represented a risk for other tree species and for the park users. Likewise, the need to plant 5,000 new trees of native species was raised to recover the ecological functionality of the park.

    “After completing the maintenance period stipulated in the Una Nueva Sabana contract, Scotiabank formalizes the closure of the project. Starting today, the maintenance and care of the planted trees will be in charge of ICODER as the park’s managing entity”, commented the Senior Manager of Communications and Social Responsibility of Scotiabank, Rocío Zamora. The bank is part of the project organization alongside the Costa Rican Sports and Recreation Institute, the National System of Conservation Areas (Sinac), the National Power and Light Company (CNFL) and the Ministry of Justice and Peace.

    Recover and maintain the safety and ecological functionality of forest resources

    Since 2008, when the project was being worked on, there have been 54 volunteer days, where 100% of the goals established to “Recover and maintain the safety and ecological functionality of forest resources and other minor species of the La Sabana Metropolitan Park, without reducing the social, sports and recreational function that the park brings to its visitors”, according to the planning document.

    “Although the intervention of La Sabana has allowed us to enhance the environmental component of the park, we must also highlight the social impact of the project. Today, La Sabana is a safe space, thanks to the fact that the risk of falling dead or diseased tree branches was eliminated; In addition, it is a space rich in biodiversity, fundamental aspects to fulfill the educational, cultural, recreational and sports role of the park. From ICODER we want to thank Scotiabank for this extraordinary project and each person who worked to make Una Nueva Sabana a reality, “said Vivian Ortega, from ICODER’s Planning Unit.

    The planting plan considered 18 species of trees classified as endangered or threatened, such as ron ron, cocobolo, royal guayacán, nazareno, cativo, yellow almond, mahogany and black guapinol, among others.

    What happened to the extracted wood?

    Those judicial inmates, through the Ministry of Justice and Peace, produced wood products in accordance with the needs of ICODER. The original listing included items such as: ranches, picnic tables, cabins, benches, tables, chairs, trash cans, desks, signs, shelves, and cabinets.

    A win-win project

    It was a win-win project that allowed us to generate sources of employment for the population deprived of liberty and other benefits, such as the accreditation of the penalty discount. In addition, they were trained in tree management, cabinetmaking and other trades. This implies the formation of work habits, essential for a successful insertion in their communities once they leave the penitentiary”, commented the head of the Industrial and Agricultural Department, Jorge Barrantes Jiménez, who was in charge of representing the Ministry in this project.

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