Rainforest Education Center Project Developer Rainforest Education Center Project Developer Puerto Jimenez , Costa Rica Osa Interactive Gardens
NOW OPEN!!! Newly renovated rainforest cabin for volunteers and lots of projects to work on at Osa Interactive Gardens in Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica.

5 Project reviews of Osa Interactive Gardens

Project Details

Osa Interactive Gardens is a rainforest conservation, restoration, and environmental education project featuring a butterfly farm in Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Osa Interactive Gardens (O.I.G.) is a rain forest conservation and environmental education project. At the core, this is a conservation project because the 2 hectare property is being converted from agricultural land use back to the native forest. We believe education must always come together with any conservation project. Hundreds of students visit Osa Interactive each year, with the numbers increasing every month as we add new courses for local naturalist guides, gain international attention for visiting school groups, and invite more local schools for free field trips. We collaborate with professors and experts around the world to teach courses on rain forest ecology, entomology, and botany.

A major focus of the project is butterflies because of their importance to the rainforest ecosystem. Many butterfly species are at risk of population collapse due to loss of habitat, pollution, and climate change. By actively protecting and educating about butterflies, all the rainforest benefits. Butterflies are widely loved and it is easy to understand why they need protection, which makes them a great topic to teach about biodiversity and the complex relationships in the environment that support a healthy forest. We teach these concepts in workshops at local schools and host school field trips with local and visiting students. O.I.G. is committed to community development and promotes participation and interaction with nature to bring awareness, understanding, and action for rainforest conservation.

The property has a 25×35 meter enclosed butterfly habitat and botanical gardens, 3 tree house platforms, cabin, classroom, comedor, bathroom, shower, butterfly breeding operations, and hiking trails. The gardens include an extensive collection of plants that attract butterflies and wildlife, medicinal plants, and food crops that have been ecologically integrated into the forest habitat.

The main focus of the project is on
NPO Status
Yes, registered non-profit organization
Foundation Year
Contact Person
Colleen Spurlock
Colleen Spurlock
Spoken Languages

Social Impact

We host local and international student groups and teach environmental education. In a place like the Osa Peninsula, one of the most biodiverse places in the world, it is urgent to protect and teach about the local and worldwide importance of this special place. An example of the success in forest restoration is through bird surveys, collected from bird-a-thon days organized by Osa Interactive or other local programs. When the property was a monoculture plantation, there was a count of 45 species. The old, abandoned and unmanaged plantation was removed and we began planting hundreds of trees, flowering shrubs, and vines native to the area and vital to wildlife survival. In 2017, the bird count was over 150 species; over 3X the original count as a result of the conversion of land use. 

Over 1000 students have visited Osa Interactive Gardens since the project began in 2012.  We offer free field trips and classes for local schools, and visit rural schools when they cannot visit us. Osa Interactive is great for all ages and all backgrounds, from kindergarden to University students, there is something for everyone. We offer "Buttefly Days" that parents can put together for kids on the weekends where we learn about breeding butterflies and then do a natural art project. 

Pursued Sustainable Development Goals

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