In 1992, Lovett purchased a piece of cloudforest property in Ecuador for the purpose of creating a protected preserve and establishing a research center to support tropical conservation education.
Siempre Verde, which translates to "Forever Green," offers U.S. and Ecuadorian students an opportunity to learn conservation methods through research and the exchange of ideas. Alternative means of earning a living--rather than cutting the forests for timber, pasture, or for crops--are a central education issue. As an educational institution, the 825-acre Siempre Verde fosters an awareness of all aspects of the natural sciences. Birdwatching, nature walks (during the day and night), and research studies occupy the majority of the day. Groups are also encouraged to participate in a community service project in the nearby village of Santa Rosa. Over the past several years, Lovett students have raised money to help construct the local school and they have donated athletic, educational, and art material for the students.
The Robert and Connie Braddy Research Station features sleeping and dining accommodations for 28 people and a large laboratory for studies in botany, zoology, entomology, etc. Lovett's facility is available for use by all schools, public and independent, as well as college and university groups.
Bob Braddy, the founder and first director of Siempre Verde, holds a master's degree from North Carolina State University in botany and cell biology. He taught for almost 40 years at independent schools throughout the southeastern United States, including 25 at The Lovett School.
In 1990, The Lovett School science teacher Bob Braddy and his wife Connie traveled to Ecuador to study cloudforest ecology.
While passing through Santa Rosa, a village within the Andean cloudforests of Northwest Ecuador, they found the town's local school in desperate need of repair. The teachers pledged to assist the community with rebuilding the school. Within a year The Lovett School's Ecology Club raised funds, and the village fathers built the school.
Extending its link to the cloudforest community, Lovett then purchased several hundred acres of primary cloudforest in 1991 to create a protected preserve and to establish a research center to support conservation education.
The Ecuadoran government declared Lovett's property, Siempre Verde, a "protected forest," ensuring that its now 825 acres of upper montaine cloudforest will be held in perpetuity. Located on the Siempre Verde Preserve, the research center offers U.S. and Ecuadoran students an opportunity to learn conservation methods through conducting research and exchanging ideas.