Volta Velha Reserve

The Volta Velha Reserve is formed by two RPPNs (Private natural heritage reserve) located in the same property in Itapoá-SC: Palmital Farm (1992) and Volta Velha Reserve - Father Piet van der Aart (2018) which together total 875 hectares of protected areas of Lowland Atlantic Rain-forest.

The Reserve holds one of the largest collections of researches of these forests with scientific works published over the last 32 years. This area is also a model of shared management between the owners and the ADEA, Association of Environmental Defense and Education.

Translation: "The more we know the more we love" (access floor to CREFC, with artwork by Cíntia Beatriz Machado Pereira and photo by João Henrique Le Senechal)

The Founders

The couple Natanoel & Arnolda Machado

Natanoel Machado, in memoriam 1936-2018          He always had a lot of dedication to leaving the Volta Velha Reserve suitable for sustainability and perpetuity. He managed to pass to the next generation ethical principles and awareness of the use of property as a private patrimony serving the common good. Love for the land and affection for people is exercised as a motto that reflects these teachings into the present.

Arnolda Machado                                                Great promoter of conservation, Mrs. Nica always mobilized to qualify the structures and services and give working conditions. She has been a mentor for more than 35 years of all those who participated directly or indirectly in the Volta Velha Reserve and to this day still influences the team.

The philosophy

The inspiration for the creation of the Volta Velha Reserve

Great projects are not born alone. A series of motivations and people are often after good ideas. At the RPPN (Private natural heritage reserve) Volta Velha Reserve, in Itapoá, this is no different. Created 27 years ago, it is the result of much will, desire for preservation and also motivations of one person: Piet Van Der Art, better known as Father Peter.

Dutch, the missionary priest met the Machado family, owner of the RPPN Volta Velha Reserve, in the 1980s. As a professor of theology at PUCPR (Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná), he referred his classes to topics of natural sciences, evolution and conservation theories, always placing nature as an element of connection between God and man. His academic background was vast: a doctorate in theology, geology and biology. He was a Marist missionary and with that he had the opportunity to live in different countries, such as New Zealand, Germany and Brazil. He devoted much of his passion for nature to the study of plants, especially phytosociology. This and other different skills, open-mindedness and the desire to teach, of course, charmed the students.

Classes then extrapolated the university: along with the priest, students formed a research group, made field expeditions and works in the Serra do Mar. Among the activities, Father van der Aart reached Itapoá, where he met the Machado family, the forest area and the ideas of environmental initiatives. "We already had the idea, but it was still small and a bit abstract, it was he who motivated us and overturned the barriers and resistances between the generations, I can affirm that there would be no Volta Velha Reserve without Father Peter," says Lucio.

These activities, that are now developed in the RPPN Volta Velha Reserve, are in a large part the fruit of this motivation of Father van der Aart. As the family says: "A project of this kind cannot be done only with will, it must also have a philosophy, and he has brought us this philosophy of life, of love and willingness to fight for nature."