Spring update

The Redstart Connection

Local Communities Saving Birds in Chicago and on their Guatemalan wintering ground

Chicago area birders and the Q’eqchi people of the cloud forests are working together. We treasure some of the same birds; we just see them at different seasons. The Bird Conservation Network (BCN) has found a way to aid birds on both sides of the migration equation by partnering with Community Cloud Forest Conservation, a nonprofit social enterprise in the Guatemalan highlands.

Our Goal: $7500

$3750 to reforest 5 acres of cloud forest in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala  link: http://www.cloudforestconservation.org/interact/reforestation.php

$3750 to analyze and share monitoring results and create habitat in the Chicago Region

The Redstart Connection is a grassroots effort to unite the bird conservation communities of the Chicago region and the Guatemalan cloud forest – to help the birds that we each enjoy in different seasons.   Although the cultures and the political landscape may be different, the basic problem of habitat loss is the same.

The Redstart Connection is a project of the BCN. Our goal of $7,500 will help the Q’eqchi (pronounced Kek-chi) reforest 5 acres of cloud forest habitat  AND fund an analysis of 12 years of BCN monitoring data to guide local land habitat restoration efforts AND help local volunteer organizations plant migratory bird habitat in Important Bird Areas of the Chicago area.  All contributions are tax-deductible.

Can you help us meet our goal?  Any donation, large or small, will move us closer.  Consider these ideas:

  • Include us in your charitable giving this year.  All donations are tax-deductible and directly support the work of local communities here and in Guatemala. 
  • Make a donation to honor the work of a local bird monitor, BCN representative or restoration volunteer.  Just tell us who they are and we’ll let them know about your donation.
  • Make a donation to offset carbon emissions from a vacation flight, car rental, or birding trip.  Although we don’t pretend that it’s possible to figure out exactly how many trees you would need to plant in this site to offset an airplane trip, all donations are used to plant trees which reduce greenhouse gases,  as well as to help birds to withstand climate change by making healthy habitats here and in the tropics.

Click here to make a donation.

Want to know more? 

Community Cloud Forest Conservation website http://www.cloudforestconservation.org)

Ken Rosenberg (Director of Conservation Science at Cornell Lab of Ornithology) said about this project, “I cannot imagine a higher priority.”

CCFC Reforestation Project

Bird Conservation Network Trends Analysis

Join Rob and Tara of CCFC this spring at a talk at the Chicago Botanic Garden.  Online registration is closed, but there are still spaces available.  To register, call 847-835-8261

The Resplendent Quetzal And The Endemic Birds Of Guatemala’s Central Highlands: Community-based cloud forest conservation among the Q’eqchi’ Maya

Thursday, April 26, 7 pm
Regenstein Center Auditorium
Chicago Botanic Garden

Our fund drive this winter raised $1800 for the CCFC, enough to reforest almost 2.5 acres of cloud forest. The other pages of this website tell about a visit to the site of this work in September 2011.  Enjoy!

The Redstart Connection

Girls in CCFC's scholarship program enjoying the bird life

This holiday season, a few of us are asking friends and colleagues whether they can make a small donation to help a project that does great work with an impact on our local birds.

Community Cloud Forest Conservation (CCFC) is a grassroots organization working in the Coban, Guatemala area to solve economic and environmental problems that present a huge threat to the birds that we enjoy so much in the summer and during migration.  After seeing their work for myself in September, I am helping them raise funds for work with communities to save an ecosystem that is vital to the continent’s biodiversity, and vanishing rapidly.  I’m reaching out to friends, family, and fellow birders and conservationists.  Bob Fisher, Suzanne Checchia and Mary Bernat are joining me in reaching out to bird conservationists.  This is a project where a small donation can make a big difference.

Near the reforestation site

$3,500 will help the Q’eqchi’  (pronounced Kek-chi) people of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala reforest 5 acres of mid-elevation cloud forest habitat, one of the rarest types of a rapidly decreasing ecosystem.

Can you help?  Any donation, large or small, will move us closer.

Consider these ideas:

  • Include CCFC in your charitable giving this year.  All donations are tax-deductible and directly support the Guatemalan reforestation project.
  • Make a donation to honor the work of a local conservationist, bird monitor, or restoration volunteer.  Use the Comment section of the form below to send me their name, contact info and any special message after you make your donation, or enter that info under “Add special instructions to the seller” if you use PayPal, and I’ll let them know about it.
  • Make a donation to offset carbon emissions from a vacation flight, car rental, or birding trip.  Although I don’t pretend that it’s possible to figure out exactly how many trees you would need to plant in this site to offset a trip, your donation will go toward planting trees which reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Send this link to someone who’s struggling to figure out a holiday gift for you.

Make your donation directly to the CCFC via PayPal at this link: http://www.cloudforestconservation.org/interact/reforestation.php or send a check made out to “Community Cloud Forest Conservation” to Community Cloud Forest Conservation Reforestation Project, 3059 Hampshire Blvd., Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Want to know more?  Explore the other pages of this website (and leave a comment), and the links to Community Cloud Forest Conservation.

Thank you!

Send me an email using this form:

I just returned from another country, another culture, another ecosystem with a strong sense of the connectedness of our work and our birds.  On this site I’ll be adding pictures and impressions of a trip to Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, the moving conservation work I observed in the cloud forest there, and resonances with the work of the bird conservation community in the Chicago area.