The Children’s Eternal Rain Forest

The Children’s Eternal Rain Forest (CERF) is located in the Tilarán mountain range, in northwestern Costa Rica. This range presents a steep sinuous topography which is characterized by peaks and mountain ridges, valleys and canyons as well as abundant rivers of rapid currents that drain both Pacific and Atlantic slopes of the country. The Children’s Rain Forest has a special story. The preserve was purchased by children from all over the world after a 9-year-old Swedish student, Roland Tiensuu, was inspired by his teacher’s slides and stories about the forest in 1987. With his teacher and classmates, he started a campaign to raise money to purchase land in the forest. The initial purchase was 15 acres. The project grew to include children and adults from around the world. Within two years, they were able to buy 18,00 acres! Now, the Children’s Rain Forest has grown to 43,000 acres, and an environmental education facility has recently been completed. The Children’s Rain Forest is managed by the Monteverde Conservation League. This organization has worked hard to gain the cooperation of the local community. Staff provide local educational programs and participate in community meetings. Because the League believes the neighbors of the forest are the best protectors, programs are aimed at supporting local farmers and loggers so they don’t lose their homes and income. Inspired by the Conservation League, Friends of Opal Creek works to make the Preserve a resource for the local community and encourages local involvement in ecosystem management.

Sustainable and economically productive uses of the forest include selective logging of second-growth forests, mushroom and beargrass harvesting, fishing and tourism.

The waterfall near the old Mertin Mill on the Little North Fork of the Santiam river is named Cascada de Los Ninos (Waterfall of the Children) after a waterfall in the sister forest.