|Catalina and some of her sketches.|
|One of Catalina's man sketches.|
|A man walks thru Independence. The palm with the white |
trunk is the wax palm, the palma de cera,
Colombia's national tree.
Mateo and a native plant. He
points out the paradox of biodiverse Colombia
importing plants from overseas.
|A decidedely not-native pine tree in |
Independence Park in Bogotá.
|Walikng past non-native palms |
near the bullfighting stadium.
|Exuberant vegetation fills a canyon in |
Bogotá's Eastern Hills.
Catalina's work has taken her up and down Bogotá's hillsides, where rivers still flow thru vegetation-choked ravines. In the city proper, most of the city's rivers, sadly, are buried in pipelines. In doing her work, Catalina has been frustrated by lack of interest from city institutions and even outright stonewalling from officialdom.
"The more they denied me the information, the more I insisted," she said.
|Cyclists ride past huge, non-native trees |
the National Park in Bogotá.
Check out Catalina's work on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/magazzineamazing
Mateo Hernandez, an environmental restorer who gave a talk at Casa Tomada, said that Bogotá has made real strides in returning native trees to the city. A few decades ago, he said, all of Bogotá's street trees were exotic pines, ashes and eucalyptus. Today, about one third are native Colombian species. Similarly, Bogotá's Botanical Gardens has planted many more native species.
It's an advance.
|Newly planted trees along Carrera Septima. |
But are they native?
More encouragingly, however, Mateo said that the Eastern Hills' native tree species, which were harvested ruthlessly a century ago for firewood, are now advancing again over their historic habitat.
But their recovery will only be possible as long as that habitat remains. Buildings, often illegal or questionable, are invading Bogotá's hillsides - much of which is supposed to be a sacrosanct Forestry Reserve.
"Of ten steps," to restore local fauna, says Mateo, "we've taken only one.
Mateo blogs at: http://biodiversidadyconservacion.blogspot.com/
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours