Greening and Mapping a City - Leon, Mexico

Leon Mexico reforestation greening mapping GIS trees planting restoration ecology urban

While reforestation projects abound in Mexico, finding them can be hit or miss—sending emails, visiting officies.  The city of Leon is an exception and a destination for fellow restoration enthusiasts thanks to a Google map.  Created by the city's Environmental Department (DGGA)[1], the map shows greening-related projects throughout greater Leon, including:
  • 140 reforestation sites in Leon and surrounding Sierra de Lobos.
  • 671 green areas
  • 134 'adopted green areas'
  • 35 urban gardens

Trees of Mexico (Temperate Forest)



Communities Protecting Monarch Preserves in Mexico

Monarch butterfly preserve sierra chincua sanctuary michoacan mexico oyamel fir reforestation

“They're here to protect the oyamel forests,” said Julian, tour guide at Sierra Chincua Monarch Sanctuary as we passed federal police with assault rifles. “Foreign loggers used to come and destroy them;” the oyamel trees made valuable furniture.  Now, logging of the 'sacred' oyamel firs (Abies religiosa) has since ended, according to Julian. His community depends on healthy forests for their livelihoods, as do the hundreds of millions of Monarch butterflies who migrate here to overwinter every year.

Forests for Communities - Reforestation at El Carmen


Reforestation will succeed when it benefits communities.

Thomas Garcia Reforestation Conafor Michoacan Mexico El Carmen Ejido

The site was the community's worst, most degraded land—95 acres of barren hills sliced by eroding ravines. “The soil here used to look like the road,” said Thomas Garcia, pointing to the rocky path we arrived on.  Garcia leads the community of El Carmen, one of Mexico's ejidos, which are communal lands collectivized since the Revolution dismantled the haciendas, which were feudal estates owned by a wealthy family.[1]  Constant throughout those centuries was the grazing of cattle that reduced much of El Carmen to an infertile desert.

Three Principles for Reforesting the World - with Brian Fey



"We're going to reforest the world," Brian exclaimed, minutes after I arrived at his home slash farm, nursery, education center and reforestation site.  Bosque Village, meaning 'Forest Village' in its official language of Spanglish, is also an experiment in "living happily and comfortably in a post fossil-fuel world."  Since founding Bosque Village in 2004, Brian's has been proving that humans can coexist with forests.  From his wealth of experience I've complied Brian's "Three Principles for Reforesting the World."

Conserving a Valuable Lake - Yuriria, Mexico

laguna de yuriria lake conservation reforestation ecosystem guanajuato mexico

Yuriria Lake is a 'novel' ecosystem, meaning man-made.[1]  The Spanish created the lake in 1548 by diverting the Lerma River to fill former swamplands--their first hydrological project in the New World.  The resulting water source exuded colonial power; around it the Spanish built forts and resettled natives.  Today, 1,500 families depend on its waters for industries like fishing, tourism and agriculture.[2]  Its ecological importance too, has been both nationally and internationally recognized.  Therefore, efforts to conserve the lake are currently underway.

Reforesting for Monarch Habitat – La Cruz Nursery



Losing 90% of its population from its 20-year average, Monarch butterflies are at risk of extinction.[1]  On one end of their 2,000-mile migration, cornfields have displaced most ofAmerica's prairies along with the milkweed plants that monarchs breed on. On the other end, deforestation threatens their overwintering grounds Michoacán, Mexico. Taking action on behalf of this natural icon is La Cruz Nursery.