The Lillian Meighen Wright Centre (LMWC), made possible through a generous donation from The Lillian Meighen and Don Wright Foundation will help to enhance York University’s Las Nubes Project, which conducts environmental research of local and international importance.
The LMWC is located on a property in Costa Rica across from Las Nubes (“The Clouds”) which is a Rainforest Reserve that was donated to York University by Dr. Woody Fisher in 1998. As York’s presence in the area has expanded we are expecting the Eco-Campus, consisting of the LMWC plus additional buildings, to be the headquarters of a Semester Abroad program in Environmental Studies. The Eco-Campus will be a destination for diverse seminars, congresses, retreats, residencies for researchers, writers, artists, performers, etc. The Las Nubes property and the York Eco-Campus are located on the Pacific slope of the Talamanca range in Southeast Costa Rica, an hour outside the city of San Isidro de El General.
Under the direction of Felipe Montoya, the James and Joanne Love Chair in Neotropical Conservation, the Las Nubes Project facilitates our students and faculty to study, do research and take action for the protection of biodiversity and rural sustainability in Costa Rica. The Project has made significant achievements in research and conservation programs in biodiversity protection, rural sustainability, environmental education in local schools, and the use of Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing as decision-support tools for environmental management This extraordinary research and conservation project continues to be a tremendous source of pride for York and a unique resource for our students’ environmental education.
Longtime University advocates James and Joanne Love have donated a landmark $2.5 million in support of environmental sustainability at York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) and the Lassonde School of Engineering. Over the past several decades, James, a graduate of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School in 1973, has contributed to the advancement of the University through exceptional service, commitment and major philanthropic contributions to a number of initiatives, with a specific focus on environmental sustainability and conservation. Not only has he distinguished himself as highly respected and accomplished lawyer by trade, but he is well known as a committed and enthusiastic York ambassador and volunteer.
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In 1998 Dr. Woody Fisher donated the 124 hectare Las Nubes Forest Reserve in southern Costa Rica – bordering the largest stretch of tropical forest in Central America – to the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, helping launch the Las Nubes Project. In 2002 the Fisher Fund for Neotropical Conservation was created to support the Las Nubes Project activities. Dr. Fisher and his partner Valerie Grant both organize the yearly Las Nubes Wine Auction as the primary fund-raiser of the Las Nubes project. Dr. Woody Fisher is a driving force behind the success of Las Nubes and a cherished supporter of the Faculty.
In addition to their generous land contribution, Woody and Valerie created a graduate award for students doing research in the area of Las Nubes in honour of the Howard Daughtery, who played a key role in establishing the Las Nubes Project. In honour of their dear friend James B. Love, Woody and Valerie established the Love Lecture in Avian Conservation.
Thank you to the Donald F. Hunter Charitable Foundation for their annual contribution to support the Fisher Fund for Neotropical Conservation. Your support allows our students the ability to travel and to do ongoing research at the Las Nubes Eco-Campus.
The Koerner Lecture Series, established in appreciation of the Koerner family for their substantial contributions to the Faculty of Environmental Studies’ Las Nubes Project supporting research in Neotropical conservation in the Las Nubes rainforest in Costa Rica. Thanks to the families generosity, the Faculty of Environmental Studies is able to host world renowned researchers on the topic of Neotropical Conservation.
Thanks to Adrienne Perry and Don Downer for their help securing additional land for the Las Nubes Project.
"We had been to Costa Rica several times as "eco-tourists" and loved the country's biodiversity and people. But we wanted to learn more about it from different perspectives and we heard about the field course and the Las Nubes project. So we applied and registered as undergraduates and went on the course. We had a great time and learned a lot. We were inspired by the vision of the Las Nubes project and the idea that York University would build a research centre and community-use building in those beautiful surroundings just across from the Las Nubes land. So when it became clear that additional property was available and that the vision could be expanded, we wanted to do what we could to help build the Eco-campus that is now becoming an exciting reality!"
William Lambert and his family have established four awards at York University, including the Lambert Family Award in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the Allen T. Lambert Scholarship, the Dr. Allen T. Lambert Scholars Award, and the Lambert Family Graduate Award in Neotropical Research & Conservation for the Faculty of Environmental Studies. William is the son of the late Allen T. Lambert, who was a member of York University’s Board of Governors. William is also an alumnus of the Schulich School of Business.
Thanks to the BMO Financial Group for their generous support towards the endowed Chair in Neotropical Conservation, held by Professor Felipe Montoya-Greenheck.
BMO proudly supports charitable initiatives in the communities where they operate through donations and sponsorship programs. They embrace the diversity of people's social needs, ideas and interests and therefore they distribute their contributions over a broad range of initiatives, including education, health, arts and culture, community development and sports and athletics.
The Las Nubes Student Association (LNSA) is comprised of a group of both enthusiastic undergraduate and graduate students who are all committed to increasing consumer awareness, and raising money to support community programs in the ASBC. This last year the LNSA has contributed to a number of celebrations for needy children in the ASBC, and has financed the construction of a hammock bridge that will connect York's EcoCampus to the Las Nubes Rainforest Reserve, allowing visitors to the LMWC cross the Peñas Blancas river and explore the trails in the primary forest.
We'd like to thank the Las Nubes Student Association for their ongoing support and dedication; and for helping us fundraise for the Las Nubes project through their annual silent auction and coffee sales.