Bonaire is an island found in the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea.
It's less than a hundred miles off the north coast of South America, near the western part of Venezuela.
This site is characterized by rolling hills and a small, seasonal stream. It already had a high presence of mature and diverse trees who now provide shade to newly planted trees. In the few open patches of ground, trees that can withstand more sunlight and extreme weather conditions have been planted into the bare soil. The interesting mix of current and newly planted vegetation and its visibility from the Washington-Slagbaai Park exit route make this reforestation site an exciting and accessible one to visit.
This site is characterized by an undulating terrain, with the same Rooi (stream) running through the middle of it as the one that enters into the Slagbaai site. Reforestation of this area will help protect against soil runoff from erosion by increasing the amount of roots and organic matter. growing along the stream bank Because it is situated within the Washington side of the park where goats are still allowed, it will serve as a research site for demonstrating the impact of invasive herbivores on native vegetation.
"Off the beaten path," this site can be found en route to Salina Frans. While less visible and accessible, it could serve as a natural nursery for the reforestation of surrounding areas where the removal of invasive herbivores has been planned. This relatively flat site possessed a reasonable diversity of established native vegetation, growing in a rich, deep soil making selective reforestation of rarer or under-represented species the priority. Interestingly, it had historically been used for farming since a broken dam was found within the site.
This site was a highly degraded area along Kaminda Onima, the main road between Kralendijk and Rincon (the two main urban centres). It was formerly a government-run agricultural field for growing livestock fodder, but has since been cleared of nearly all its vegetation by numerous free-roaming goats and donkeys who over time broke through its eroding fence. The absence of vegetation prior to planting presented the opportunity to explore the impact of reforestation from the pioneer phase. Because of its high visibility from the road, this site is exemplary in demonstrating the challenges and successes that come from reforestation efforts.
Encompassing a previously designated natural area who up until this point was under attack from free-roaming goats, this site is characterized by a hard limestone substrate. To reforest this site, tree species who prefer this type of ground and can also withstand saltier air and more extreme weather were carefully selected for planting. This site is visible from the coastal scenic road and has a lightly shaded concrete walking path running down one side of it which makes it a nice one to stop and visit.
The Salina Tam site is found on the north end of Bonaire, slightly northwest of BOPEC (the oil containment facility). It is directly adjacent to a recently abandoned diabas mine (where soil was collected for construction purposes). The area is characterized by a low, monotonous shrub layer and columnar cacti growing throughout in silty soils. Its proximity to the coast increases its exposure to salty air, but trees who can withstand these conditions were carefully selected for the reforestation of this site.
At the top of Seru Largu, encompassed by a publicly accessible road, this patch of land has been significantly degraded by a high density of free-roaming goats. This site is located within the southern corner of Bonaire's higher limestone terraces and plateaus, which are some of the least protected and yet the most significant for rare flora since their inaccessibility saved them from historic logging efforts. This site not only protects the few remaining rare species of mature trees that are found there, it will also call attention to the importance of reforestation and negative impacts caused by invasive herbivores by being directly adjacent to a parcel of land that is still exposed.