Camp Altiplano has re-opened its doors this January, with changes in its organizational structure, and ready to keep up with the good work that has been done until now.
I am Silvia, the new coordinator here, since December. Glad to share with you a little update about what’s going on down here in Murcia.
Restoration Experience January
On January 21st we hosted the first Restoration Experience of the year. 10 participants from more than 5 different countries joined us for two weeks of tree planting and workshops.
Our restoration efforts focused on a half hectare natural zone in La Junquera farm. Here we planted almost 1000 native trees and bushes (Holm oak, Aleppo pine, Terebinth, Black hawthorn, Rosemary, Saltbush), with the goal of recreating a native mediterranean forest. This type of habitat has been destroyed with centuries of land exploitation, but is still existing in small areas. Bringing together such a mix of species will help the natural succession, re-creating in the long term a micro climate on the hill, which will prevent erosion, increase water retention, and provide habitat for wildlife. The consequences of this thriving piece of land will also affect the surrounding farmland.
The course also included a variety of workshops from local experts: beekeeping, holistic management, history of the region, preserves with local products, sustainable businesses and much more. One of the course participants is working on a report about the experience, and we will soon make it available for everybody online!
Prepping camp for the new season
As the course participants left, David, from Austria, stayed, and has been working really hard on making the camp comfortable and ready to host the next groups.
The compost toilets are ready, electricity has been installed in all buildings at camp, the batteries of our solar panels have been moved to a safer thief-proof spot.
And the roundhouse could finally host the first inhabitant! Sina, from Germany, just moved in for the coming month.
These two great campers put back together the pumping system from one of the ponds, so we can have water for showering and dishwashing. They installed a wonderful hot water system for the outdoor shower, making life at camp much easier.
The next groups should be here in April, but maybe we’ll have to postpone the visits, due to the corona virus situation.
Together with Sina we mapped all trees planted at camp, and we figured out the current survival rate is around 72%. For the almonds, this goes up to 75%! The black locust though has a much lower rate: only 40% of them seemed to survive, as this is probably a higher water requiring species. This map gives a great overview of what is happening at camp, clearly showing there’s a difference in the spatial distribution of success rate. Next step will be figuring out why some areas are better than others for the trees.