Upon analysis of the interview reports, I found that the community desires that the Institute serve as a recreation center that emphasizes the nature present in Monteverde. As a recreation center, the Institute would provide the community with a space for activities as well as down-time pursuits such as chatting or reading. Most of the members of the community I spoke with were older and thus recognized that it will be the younger generation who will soon be responsible for staying committed to sustainability. Due to this, members expressed a palpable hope that drawing the community onto the Institute campus will inspire a respect for the land in the youth of the region.
At first glance of the Institute maps, one might simply locate herself according to the other features of the property. Though maps serve to locate and contextualize the user according to her immediate location, the maps and ensuing analysis serve a larger purpose. Efforts towards sustainable land use can be significantly more efficient when users of the land share a common goal for subsequent land use. There have been several projects carried out by single groups of interns only to be neglected when the interns leave the Institute. The land used is then neglected as well and left to future interns to deal with wondering how to convert the land to their specific needs. Instead of having discordant users develop parcels of land for their select interest, an accurate map can serve to coordinate land use over the long run ensuring at the least a consistent use of land.
The Institute is a gem in terms of property value. The difficulty in maintaining the gleam of the gem results from a population of users that sees the land as per select members´ individual, current interests. What belies sustainability is jumbled land use due to failures of carrying out long term visions. I mentioned this master plan was a way of getting the ball rolling in a sustainable direction. Yet, like past projects, the biggest threat to the success of this project is the lack of follow-through by a future intern. The ball may be rolling, but the friction of noncompliance has been a formidable force.
Necessary to thank for this opportunity is the Grace Elizabeth Groner Foundation. Without their funding and oversight, this internship opportunity would not have been possible. The Foundation´s association with Lake Forest College enabled my participation in this internship.
Furthermore, the direct supervision of primary coordinators Ashley Gora and Felipe Negrini required hours of time and a bundle of patience in mending my mind from an economic orientation to one of a landscape architect´s. I would like to thank them for their support over the course of my research.
The Monteverde Institute, the community of Santa Elena and nearby towns, and all others who I cannot name person by person deserve my thanks, as they were extremely open and accommodating to the needs of my internship. It was a pleasure to have met those with whom I worked.
Chornook, K., & Guindon, W. (2008). Walking with wolf. Canada: Wandering Words Press.
Nadkarni, N., & Wheelwright, N. (2000). Monteverde. New York: Oxford University Press.