Peter Chiykowski
3 months ago

Project Update: Reminder: closed beta feedback deadline + progress update + first 1,000 trees

Hi backers!

We wanted to drop by with a quick update covering 3 bits of news!

  • Reminder of the beta feedback deadline in 2 days
  • Progress update
  • Planting 1,000 trees for our first tree stretch goal

Beta feedback deadline

Just a reminder that the deadline to provide feedback for the closed beta of the Lore Master's Deck is in 2 days: November 30! 

Please provide all feedback through the form here:

Progress update

We also wanted to share our progress! The main deck and the first block of expansions are now being reviewed by the sensitivity readers. We've started to receive our first block of notes, which we'll be working on as we incorporate feedback from the closed beta.

In the final stages of fine-tuning the Bridge Expansions, we made some changes to the setup and allocation of card types that we think will make the experience of using these cards much richer and more nuanced. At some point we'll do an updated livestream showcasing the final design so you can look under the hood with us!

Planting 1,000 trees for our first tree-planting stretch goal

This morning we made our donation to Eden Reforestation for our first 1,000 tree stretch goal!

Why Eden Reforestation?

As someone who worked in the non-profit world for 4 years, I care a lot about the integrity, efficiency, and transparency of the charities I donate to or partner with. In particular, some tree-planting charities will focus on bulk-planting without long-term plans for biodiversity, fire prevention and forest maintenance. Trees planted without adequate planning can actually contribute to deforestation. Good intentions don't always produce good results without good planning and impact measurement to support them.

So The Story Engine team went into our charitable partner search using with some specific criteria in mind:

  1. Partner must specify tree-planting location. Eden works in 10 countries, but we were particularly impressed by their work in Madagascar.
  2. Partner must specify primary tree-planting objective and provide justification. Eden is focusing on restoring mangroves, an essential and endangered part of Madagascar's coastal ecosystems and economies.
  3. Partner must specify planting technique and provide justification. Eden uses assisted-natural regeneration and seedling planting.
  4. Partner must release public reports. Eden offers extensive reporting on their projects via annual reports and other project-specific reporting. See this 2019 report detailing their work in Madgascar.
  5. Partner must provide evidence of fire prevention practices and other known ecological threats. Eden practices fire and forest management through watch towers and training local staff in fire prevention and firefighting. More details in their annual reports linked above.
  6. Partner must specify tree species planted and provide justification. See the 2019 report for more details!
  7. Partner must provide follow-up plan for maintaining seedlings. Eden focuses on long-term forest maintenance.
  8. Partner must identify deforestation drivers. Nonprofits that don't address or anticipate the causes of deforestation are unlikely to make a long-term impact. See the 2019 report for details!
  9. Partner must consider impact on local economy. Eden provides local training and job adapted to the needs and resources of local communities, and works to ensure their forests support local economic acitivites.
  10. Partner must use local seedling nurseries. Transporting non-native seedlings long distances can lead to seedling failure and additional carbon emissions.
  11. Partner provide scientific research associated with project. Data-driven methodology and reporting helps ensure the project is providing a measurable impact.
  12. Partner must work with local community or government. Eden uses a community-first model and partners with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Regional Directorate in Boeny, and the Regional Directorate for Agriculture-Livestock-Fisheries.

There are other valuable criteria that Eden Reforestation meets, but these were the most important to us. See also their 4/4 Charity Navigator rating.

We'll be making 2 more donations of 1,000 trees as the various project milestones pass.

That's all for now! As always, feel free to get in touch with any questions you may have and we're happy to answer them!
Goal: $105,000 reached! — We did it! This project reached this goal!
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