Humans have formalized a relationship forged by birds.
The Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway this week became a sister park to parks in Costa Rica. Several species of birds migrate between the two regions, which was one of the drivers of the partnership effort.
Riverway superintended Chris Stein signed the agreement in Costa Rica on behalf of 14 National Park Service units in the upper Midwest region. The Costa Rica newspaper The Tico Times reports:
Costa Rica’s National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) teamed up with the U.S. National Park Service this week to sign a sister park agreement on Tuesday between the Osa Conservation Area, in the Southern Zone, and the national parks of the upper Midwest of the United States.
Under the arrangement, both institutions agree to work together to promote and support cooperation to obtain mutual benefits for their parks and protected areas. It also aims to “enrich the experience and training” of staff who work at these sites through projects and other cooperation initiatives.
The arrangement will encourage and facilitate partnerships between parks in the two regions. Collaborative efforts could include volunteering, education, habitat conservation, and training of park staff.
“If you had to name the most important conservation unit in Central America, Osa would be it” – Adrian Forsyth, Renowned Tropical Ecologist And Natural History Writer
The Osa Penninsula is a rich biological area in southern Costa Rica, including a remarkable 2-3% of earth’s plants and animals which are found nowhere else on the planet. It also contains Corcovado National Park, which National Geographic called “the most biologically intense place on earth in terms of biodiversity.” Learn more at Osa Conservation’s website.
The trip to Costa Rica to sign the agreement was made possible through the support of Rotary District 5960 and several of its local clubs. District 5960 covers southeastern and east central Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin.
The delegation included Fred Treiber, Team Leader, member of White Bear Lake, MN Rotary Club; Judy Freund, Past District Governor of Rotary District 5960 and member of Hudson, WI Daybreak Rotary Club; Craig Leiser, Past District Governor of Rotary District 5960 and member of Stillwater, MN Sunrise Rotary Club; and Chris Stein, Superintendent, St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.
Fred Treiber has a more than 20-year relationship with Cedes Don Bosco School in San Jose — the School’s Graphics Department has embraced the “sister park” idea and they are working on an “advertising campaign” about the partnership.
A group of St. Croix region citizens have also been working on a volunteer basis to support the sister park effort, and several have traveled to the Osa Penninsula to improve relationships and understanding, and look for a few shared birds.