Create a conservation culture
Map of Life
Beginning in 2010, the Conservation Trust launched a citizen science program known as Map of Life, which integrates active participation in the collection of ecological data around Puerto Rico, with the purpose of compiling information that will ultimately be useful in designing a land use plan and conservation strategies for Puerto Rico. The program focuses on a regional approach, with 5 regions identified according to main watersheds in Puerto Rico.
As part of the program, volunteers collect data in each region, which is divided into hexagonal plots of land to concentrate efforts and minimize margins of error. Data-collection focuses on water quality, species identifications, and land characterization, among others. The compiled data is entered into a database, with the purpose of nurturing available data from other public and private entities. The program is aided by a software component designed by Nature Serve, which features an interactive map that integrates information from multiple sources, including the Conservation Trust and other entities.
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Puerto Rico Shines Naturally
In 2007, the Conservation Trust launched a public outreach and awareness campaign known as “Puerto Rico Brilla Naturalmente” (Puerto Rico Shines Naturally), aimed at reducing light pollution in and around Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve in Fajardo, focusing primarily on protecting the bioluminescent bay and other important ecosystems that are adversely impacted by excessive artificial lighting at night.
An Advisory Council composed of local and federal agencies, as well as other interested parties, has actively collaborated in the design of this light pollution management strategy. As part of the program, the Conservation Trust has carried out several initiatives to provide information to communities and entities about proper lighting techniques, including hosting a Nocturnal Open House in Cabezas de San Juan that featured exhibitions, workshops and other educational activities. For more information, click here.
In addition to the nature immersion experiences that create bonds between the participants and their natural surroundings, the Conservation Trust regularly produces and sponsors educational materials that promote a better understanding of nature, encourage sustainable practices, and foster a sense of responsibility and greater connection toward nature. Some materials are distributed free of cost to teachers, students and community leaders, including a series of field guides, posters that illustrate ecosystem services and conservation practices, among other materials like brochures, flyers and others.
Selected books and other resource materials are also available at Visitor Center Stores. Among the titles available are Agustín Stahl, Flora, Hongos by Rafael Joglar, ed., Guía de Biodiversidad Urbana: Especies en Ciudades y Bosques Urbanos de Puerto Rico, by Rafael Joglar and Ana Long, eds., and La Tierra Viva by Nelson Alvarez Febles.