La Pedregoza Interpretive Center
Environmental education is one of La Pedregoza Environmental Corporation's biggest objectives. When you travel to a foreign country you need someone to translate the local language for you. In the same way it is necessary to translate the meaning and functions of the Orinoco River basin's amazing eco-systems and biodiversity to the general public. This is especially true of children, who need to understand the importance of nature and the environment if we are going to change mentalities. To that end we are planning to build an interpretive center inside the La Pedregoza Natural Reserve, dedicated to interpreting and explaining the inundation forest, the gallery forest, the morichals and caños, the savannah and the biodiversity that depends on those eco-systems to residents and visitors in the region. To the best of our knowledge there are at present no similar institutions in Colombia.
The design is unique. We will have round structures built around trees, in an area of the natural reserve that inundates during the wet season, so that visitors can experience different conditions depending on the time of year. Roofs will be inverted to water the tree in the middle and to host solar panels to power the Interpretive Center. Covered corredors will connect different buildings. We can start with just one building and slowly add more detailing additional eco-systems or topics. The vertical nature of the pillars used in the buildings and corredors will allow the entire Interpretive Center to blend into the gallery forest in which it will be located. The only horizontal lines will be the floor and roof. The design is modular for easy expansion and insures that we can use as many local building materials as possible. A Colombian architect resident in Barcelona, Spain, Amparo Estrada, came up with the design concept. She is one of our supporters through Tree-Nation.
We are looking for a corporate sponsor to fund the construction of the Interpretive Center. In exchange they would have their name on the Interpretive Center. Another option is to have building sponsors, with each building carrying its sponsor's name. We will also accept sponsors for the various exhibits and of course we welcome donations from individual sponsors, who believe that environmental and tropical education is important for the well-being of our planet. Given our location and the ability for visitors to also see the four distinct eco-systems we have in the natural reserve, this Interpretive Center will become one of Colombia's most important educational resources, as well as a significant eco-tourism draw for domestic and international visitors. Several universities have commented that the Interpretive Center could also serve as a base for in field courses in forestry and ecology.
Interpretive Center site at edge of gallery forest.