Versión Español
01-Regreso-Para-la-Naturaleza 202-san-pedrito-ave 2

The Way Back
Para la Naturaleza

Dear friends,

Everything seems to suggest we are nearing the end of a period of uncertainty that at times seemed endless. We thank those who have supported us consistently over the years and also those who have recently joined our community as collaborators and donors. We will always be grateful for your solidarity in this time of unexpected challenges.

Thanks to all of you, the work we have been doing for years has flourished over the past three months. In Puerto Rico, the pandemic was coupled with a series of extraordinary events. The Para la Naturaleza team has been working relentlessly since the end of 2017. In the face of every challenge, from hurricanes to the pandemic, we have seen the need to become closer with nature, to listen to her, and to change in favor of her. The accomplishments shared below are proof that adaptation is the key to survival.

First, let's celebrate that Para la Naturaleza has begun the process of reopening our protected areas to the public. As of today, the Organization has received hundreds of visitors seeking to reconnect with nature. We hope to return to full capacity before the end of the year. I invite you to schedule a visit or coordinate with our volunteer unit to participate in the plantings that are already taking place around the island.

Another great piece of news we want to share is that on April 26 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) informed us that our $2.5 million grant application submitted in collaboration with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program has been awarded. This is the largest grant Para la Naturaleza has received in the organization's history. Below you will find more information regarding this grant and the great impact it has on our work.

Undoubtedly, the measures we implemented in March 2020 and the decisions we have taken during the course of the pandemic are bearing good fruit. One of the major initiatives we undertook in response to the pandemic was the creation of the Para la Naturaleza Solidarity Fund (FSPLN). I want to thank all the trustees and Advisory Council members who have supported this Fund, especially Carmen Báez and PRxPR, and José Rafael Fernández and Oriental Bank for being key allies and helping us launch this initiative that presents nature-based solutions for the challenges we face as a society.

The graphic below illustrates the work that has been carried out with the funds we have received.


The Para la Naturaleza Solidarity Fund presents nature-based solutions to the challenges we face as a society. The purpose of this initiative is to promote the well-being of communities and ecosystems in five main areas. Here is a summary of what we have achieved thanks to the support of our donors.



The philanthropic support received for the Para la Naturaleza Solidarity Fund has allowed us to make great strides in a short period of time, especially in the areas of reforestation, agroecology, communities, and hiking.

Your love for Puerto Rico grows its roots with La Siembra.

Our annual event, "La Feria Para la Naturaleza", was transformed this year into a tree distribution activity called La Siembra.

For three days, the Para la Naturaleza team members delivered native trees reserved via our app "Habitat PLN” to thousands of people who came to our nurseries. The activity was a success. We surpassed our initial goal of 10,000 trees, distributing over 14,000. La Siembra started a native tree reforestation movement that is still ongoing. Just a few weeks ago, the entire Para la Naturaleza team went out into the field and 159 employees planted 5,000 trees in a single day.

This year was the first time the development unit had the opportunity to be a part of this annual event through a digital fundraising campaign. The campaign's message is simple: "Let your love for Puerto Rico grow its roots. Donate a tree." A slogan that made a connection both within and outside of Puerto Rico. To date, we have raised $11,717 from individual donors and $110,000 from corporate donors, exceeding our established goal of $100,000 by 21%.

In the north part of the island, the Piovanetti family, residents of Dorado are once again committed to expanding their reforestation efforts in the Pterocarpus Forest Natural Reserve. This year, the family plans to plant 250 additional trees of 15 native species. We appreciate the commitment and work of Elena and her family with the restoration of the Reserve, which is considered one of the most vulnerable forest ecosystems to disappear in Puerto Rico.

Thanks to you and hundreds of volunteers, we have planted 41,729 trees this year. However, we still have much work to do to reach our goal of 100,000 trees and we need help. Join us in this mission. You can help us by inviting your communities to participate in our reforestation events or donating to the Para la Naturaleza Solidarity Fund.

Make your contribution

Local businesses join the movement

This year, Popular joined our corporate allies in support of reforestation in Puerto Rico. Besides a significant donation, the Popular team will work with volunteer brigades for a series of collaborative plantings. The first of these activities took place on May 22nd, when Para la Naturaleza and Popular planted together 1,000 native trees in the natural area of La Pitahaya.

La Pitahaya natural protected area is located within the Buffer Zone of El Yunque National Forest. The introduction of native and endemic flora species provides food reserves for endangered species, such as the Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona Vittata), and other native and migratory bird species. These efforts are of utmost importance.

The areas we are using for reforestation were forests that were cleared and used in the past as grazing areas for cattle ranching. Through the planting of native, rare, and endemic trees, such as our efforts alongside Popular, we are contributing to the improvement of the forest habitat and the restoration of riparian corridors around the creek that runs through the property and then joins the Canovanillas River. Another company supporting La Siembra was Motorambar, which in addition to making a donation also joined the planting efforts. On April 17th, the reforestation unit had the pleasure of spending the workday with 19 Motorambar employees and their companions in the town of Barranquitas where we planted 400 trees.

A new educational program under development

In 2020, the agroecology unit met the challenges presented by the pandemic and found a new way to advance ecological agriculture through a series of digital workshops. The idea was extremely successful. Thanks to the generous support of Oriental Bank, the series began again on May 27th, 2021, and was facilitated by agronomist Medardo Naranjo Valdés. The workshops focused on the creation of individual gardens. To date, more than 6,200 people have benefited from this digital space designed for the exchange of ideas and ecological knowledge.

A network of solidarity gardens

On February 5th, we signed an agreement with the community organization Mujeres de Islas, which works for the sustainable development of the Culebra municipality. Together with this organization, composed of members of the community, we will create three ecological gardens. This project includes the design and construction of the community gardens on land owned by three families: Dorcas López, Gloria Cruz, and Rosa Talavera. Our vision is aimed at the gardens becoming part of a network that will support the work done in the SEVA garden, the base of Mujeres de Islas. After several visits to the property and meetings with the work team, we designed and acquired all the necessary materials. The Dorcas garden was selected to be the first. Raúl and José, Maintenance Assitants at Cabezas de San Juan and Medio Mundo y Daguao respectively, traveled to Culebra and built the base for the water harvesting system.

Spaces of connection

For those who have supported the Solidarity Fund, it would be enough to see the faces of the people walking the self-guided trails to be satisfied with the results of your donations. Connecting with nature produces an almost immediate change in those of us who relate directly to it. After all, natural areas — besides purifying air, land, and water — also purify our mental and physical well-being. With this in mind, the obligation to close access to the spaces we protect because of quarantine came with the decision to create a network of self-guided trails where visitors could connect with nature freely and safely. This idea was conceived some time back, but found the right moment to be implemented during the pandemic.

Because of your support for the Fund and the work of a team that is passionate about hiking, 15 areas have already been evaluated, 9 of which have been included in the network of self-guided trails. For each trail, our team has developed a plan detailing the location of all signage, while measures have been implemented for the safety of visitors and employees alike. We created a guide on trail design, construction, and maintenance along with a training program. This strategy ensures that ecological processes are maintained and reduces time and costs. To date, two out of four regions have been trained. We have also created a volunteer profile so that people from the surrounding communities can actively participate in trail maintenance, fostering a sense of responsibility and ownership.


In 2020, early childhood education was lagging severely as a result of the pandemic. This makes our partnership with the National Recreation Foundation (NRF) and Fundación Colibrí for the expansion of the After School: Immersion in Nature Program even more meaningful. For this project, NRF contributed $140,000 and Fundación Colibrí contributed $50,000. With these funds, we will be contributing to the expansion of the project. The program started in 2019 with funds granted by the NRF. Early on, the program had the participation of six Montessori schools from Instituto Nueva Escuela (INE) where four of them managed to establish school gardens and two created butterfly gardens.

This year, we continued our collaboration with INE for the next phase of this project called "Sembrando Regresamos" where we hope to convert 20 schools into 'Model Schools', incorporating in their grounds and curriculum diverse projects such as: nurseries, school gardens, botanical gardens, butterfly gardens, materials for home gardens, domes for outdoor education, among others.

We would like to thank NRF and Fundación Colibrí for their trust in Para la Naturaleza and the opportunity they give us to contribute to the development of children through initiatives that impact their daily lives.

Open Society

Preserving nature sometimes means defending the inherent rights of its ecosystems and species. Now, thanks to the Open Society Foundation (OSF), which awarded Para la Naturaleza a $50,000 grant to support legal advocacy initiatives with diverse issues affecting areas of high ecological value and ecosystem services in Puerto Rico. These initiatives include the new land use regulations, focused on defending the correct application of the 2015 Puerto Rico Land Use Plan, as well as other land-use plans that control unsustainable uses in rural areas. One of the ways we have done this is by supporting court challenges by appearing as Amicus Curae to advise the Courts with expert opinions on the issues presented.

Flora Borinqueniana

Our 2020 grants development team is showing outstanding results in 2021. In early April, we received word that the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded us $290,750 for our Flora Borinqueniana proposal, a traveling exhibition on the history, science, and politics of botanical illustrations of Puerto Rican flora. This was the only proposal from Puerto Rico that received funding. The exhibition aims to expose the public to the fascinating stories behind elements of the flora and the local history that are familiar to many nowadays but are not necessarily considered interrelated.

Flora Borinqueniana takes the visitor through a chronological journey, from the late eighteenth century to the first decades of the twentieth century, with a final space linking history with present-day flora. The entire team involved in this project is very grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities for its contribution to the preservation of Puerto Rican cultural heritage.

Historic grant

Finally, we would like to provide you with more details about the news we received on April 26th. We learned that our application, submitted to the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) of the NRCS, in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office, had been selected for federal funding. This is a highly competitive program at the national level, the Río Grande de Arecibo Restoration Project was the only proposal approved for Puerto Rico. With a total allocation of $2,541,985, the project will implement conservation actions at the regional landscape level, promoting ecosystem functionality.

The project will be implemented over a five year period. During this time, we will be working to plant 50,000 native trees in private and agricultural habitats, including riparian and wetland habitats, in the area of the Río Grande in Arecibo. In addition, it includes conservation efforts for six listed species, including the coquí llanero and the Puerto Rican crested toad. It also contemplates the establishment of agroforestry systems and transitional biological corridors to enhance recovery efforts. Also, included in its proposal is the participation of local communities and farmers in habitat recovery and monitoring efforts.

Annual Report

In June, Para la Naturaleza published its most recent annual report, "Five Decades Preserving the Future" to inform on the accomplishments of 2020. If you would like to receive a physical copy, you may write to Also, you can access the digital version in the following section, Recommended Reading.


2020 Annual Report


Invest in America's nature-based infrastructure


At France's newest national park, it's all about the trees


I encourage you to participate in the upcoming events. In a few weeks, we will be sharing with you the invitation to a digital activity in support of the restoration of the Culebrita Lighthouse on August 7th. 

To request your invitation, reach out directly to Diana Betancourt at

Thank you all for supporting our work.

After many months of remote work and virtual meetings, I am excited about the possibility that we will soon be able to gather in person. I know we still have a long way to go, but I am optimistic.

Until then,

Fernando Lloveras

Support our mission


Para la Naturaleza

Calle Tetuán 155
Viejo San Juan
PR 00901

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