The Introducer Volume 4 - Page 15

This Brazilian-born American has green running through her veins. She’s always been attracted to nature, and it has shown up in the illustrative work that she’s done, but, over the years, she’s given something back to that which has nurtured her soul.

As an artist, Alana has crafted botanicals and digital collages so beautiful that they are displayed in books and museums. Her work has been featured in the Bruce Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Smithsonian Institution's Horticultural Exhibit with the US Botanic Garden, and the Museum of Natural History Gift Shop.  The nature-focused art satisfies the creative in Alana, but, in the 70’s, after a trip to Puerto Rico inspired her to start her own nursery, she began the journey toward a more serious relationship with the plant kingdom. In 2009, after her daughter left for college, Alana took off to discover the place where she was born, expecting enchantment at the sight of a gorgeous tropical landscape. What she discovered touched her deeply…the beautiful rainforests of Brazil were disappearing. Of course, rainforests provide home to many species of plants and wildlife, but, rainforests also help to stabilize the climate of our planet; a critical fact often ignored under the mask of progress. Knowing this, the artist began claiming her new role as advocate.

Alana’s response to the disheartening problem she discovered was to start with trees…buying them, planting them…and reforesting areas in need.  She called the project iGive Trees.  With 93% of the most diverse and endangered rainforest on the planet gone, any reforestation project would need a patient leader with horticultural intelligence and an understanding that the results of

all the hard work might not be fully realized in his/her lifetime. Through iGive Trees, organically-grown native species trees are purchased at a fair trade price.  Working with local rural NGOs, the trees are then gifted to subsistence farm families in the Atlantic Rainforest.  To date iGive Trees has gifted nearly 6,000 trees. In 2018 she’s collaborating with organizations in Brazil to plant urban food forests in the city of São Paulo.

Through her social enterprise, Rainforest Eco Enterprises, Alana speaks to educate, offers commissioned botanical art banners for conferences, and consults with companies who are working on global warming solutions. Her US-based non-profit, ECOfloresta, is the funding partner of the iGiveTrees project in Brazil. The non-profit creates educational events to support the planting and maintenance of tropical trees, and the organic enrichment of their soil to draw down CO2.

In her role as a game changer, Alana doesn’t just get her hands dirty, she shows up to represent the US at climate change conferences, even when there may be little other US presence. She influences with words, work, and connections, but, also with her art. It’s everything you’d expect from someone who fights loss. Prevention is the work of an educator; reforestation is the work of a solutionist. Alana is both.