Since 1999, GreaterGood has been working to create easy ways for changemakers like you to make an impact, both in local communities and around the globe. In that time, we’ve raised more than $75 million dollars for a wide variety of charitable causes that provide aid to people, pets, and our beautiful planet.
Through shopping, daily free clicks, donations, and more, we’ve worked together to change the world one click at a time! And we can’t tell you enough how much we appreciate your support! Thank you for helping us reach this important milestone of $75 million raised for charity! Read on to learn more about one of the many ways you’ve helped us give where it matters.
Helping Further Preserve Land within an Important Argentinian Reserve
In the province of Mendoza, Argentina, the Payunia Provincial Reserve provides important habitat for migratory guanacos, Darwin’s rheas, Andean condors, and several cat species. Since the reserve was created in 1984, it’s become home to the largest protected guanaco population within the species’ range. Pumas, once rarely spotted in the area, have become common, with plenty of native prey to enjoy. Endangered Andean cats have also begun popping up in recent years. However, livestock grazing still occurs in this reserve, which can cause friction with wildlife.
With help from your contributions, Greater Good Charities has worked with WCS Argentina to compensate several retiring livestock producers for the resignation of their grazing rights. These rights were then returned to the province, which signed a commitment with WCS and Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina that bans livestock on these lands. It also formally incorporated the lands into the preserved core area of the reserve, expanding its acreage by nearly 10%.
WCS notes that this important move helped the guanacos avoid competition with livestock over food and water. It also protected their breeding range. Further, endangered Andean cats were saved from retaliatory killings by livestock producers who had lost young goats to predation.
Of Greater Good Charities’ involvement on the reserve project, GreaterGood CEO Tim Kunin says, “What makes Payunia so impactful is that the 75,000 acres already protected involves most of the summering range of the largest migratory guanaco herd in the world. When our next purchase (100,000 acres) is complete, we will have protected the winter range also.
Most importantly, our purchases are being used as a model so within a few years all of the private in-holdings inside one of the largest wildlife reserves in Argentina will have been purchased and become permanently protected wild land, with the sheep and cattle removed and the area able to support even larger numbers of wild animals.”
He adds that by preserving landscapes like this intact, longterm wilderness protection and lasting wildlife diversity are possible.
The move has also been beneficial to some of the livestock producers, including a family that had been raising animals in the area for decades. After the reserve was established, they were granted grazing rights. However, commodity prices and climate change meant the family couldn’t live off of their goats, sheep, and cows anymore. Their son went off to a nearby village to work as a janitor, while his parents tried to maintain their remaining animals, which competed with wildlife for food.
WCS had worked with the family in the past by installing guard dogs and lights on their corrals. However, the offer of compensating them for their grazing rights ultimately allowed the family to change course. While the patriarch died before the transaction was complete, his wife and their remaining livestock were set up on a small farm near the town where their son works. She will also be financially secure during her retirement.
Providing More Habitat for Bees and Other Pollinators
As bee populations continue to suffer due to habitat loss and fragmentation, many crops that we rely on are threatened. The USDA says that more than 3,500 native bee species help increase crop yields, and about a third of what we eat depends on pollinators. To help promote the survival of bees, Greater Good Charities has worked with many partners to preserve and expand bee habitat by planting wildflowers. You have helped contribute more than $111,000 to these projects.
One such project was a partnership with the Bee Girl Organization to cover two vineyards with Oregon wildflowers. Trisaetum Wines agreed to fill these two vineyards with flowers, despite the fact that it wasn’t really necessary to their operation.
Sarah Kari Red-Laird, Bee Girl executive director, explains, “Convincing farmers to plant wildflowers for bees is difficult. The cost is high, and unless it directly contributes to their profit, it’s a hard sell. Vineyards are self-pollinating, so don’t require insect pollination.
This creates an unfortunate trend of vineyards being synonymous with ‘pollination deserts.’ This donation
of seeds and planting support gave our winemaker/vineyard owner the confidence to plant for our bees,
without ‘risking’ his own assets/capital. Thanks to you, we have two vineyards full of happy bees, and it
looks to be correlating with a stellar vineyard microbiome, and a great wine vintage.”
The process of watering the flowers, nixing mowing, and decreasing spraying led the vineyard to see some previously dormant flowers reappearing for the first time in at least 15 years. Though not all the seeds germinated, possibly due to a very hot and dry year in Oregon, they did see an increase in bee populations between 2020 and 2021.
Going forward, Red-Laird said, “We are hoping the flowers re-seed themselves, are able to get some good winter rains, and flourish in 2022 and beyond.”
If the effort shows that bee habitat can lead to good wine, the organization hopes they can change the trend of vineyards being pollination deserts.
With your help, stories like this have been made possible and many species have been a greater chance to thrive. Thank you.
Want to know more about all the ways we’re supporting causes you care about? Learn more here.