The Firestone Center for Restoration Ecology at Pitzer College is home to programs in Pitzer’s science, language, and international studies curricula, and provides opportunities for faculty research and student engagement in an intercultural context. The program features local collaborative resource management, especially of its own stand of harvestable timber bamboo, a focus on human and tropical ecology, the study of reforestation and sustainable agriculture/permaculture practices, and community-based education including intensive language and culture studies.
The Firestone Center was established in March 2005 through international ecologist Diane Firestone’s generous gift of her stunningly beautiful farm, Finca La Isla del Cielo, near the town of Dominical, Costa Rica.
Ms. Firestone dedicated over a decade of effort to bring the farm, once an overused and depleted cattle ranch, to its current state of natural restoration. She believes that, under Pitzer College’s stewardship, her vision for the farm will be realized and will have a wider educational impact on a broader audience. An ecological easement is being recorded to preserve the existing biodiversity of the property and limit non-educational development in the future.