School Learning Gardens and Sustainability Education:
Bringing Schools to Life and Life to Schools

Registration deadline is Wednesday, June 5!
Visit to register

Dates: June 7-8, 2013
Location: Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy and Māla‘ai: The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School
Waimea, Hawai‘i Island

The 6th Annual Hawai‘i Island School Garden Network Summer Symposium, "School Learning Gardens and Sustainability Education: Bringing Schools to Life and Life to Schools," will be held June 7-8, 2013, at the Gates Performing Arts Center at Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy (HPA) and Māla‘ai: The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School. School garden teachers, classroom teachers, administrators, staff, volunteers, and interested community members are invited to attend.  

This year’s keynote speaker, Dilafruz Williams, is a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at Portland State University. She has studied the effects of ecological education on academic achievement and social skills acquisition for more than 20 years. Dilafruz also served as Chair of the Board of the Council of Great City Schools, comprising 66 of the nation’s largest school districts. She has distinguished herself in many areas including sustainability education, environmental education, learning gardens, garden-based education research, K-12 leadership and policy, diversity, social justice, service-learning, and community-university-school strategic partnerships. She will also be serving as one of the mentors for the second cohort of Kū ‘Āina Pā.

Symposium participants may order her excellent book, School Learning Gardens and Sustainability Education: Bringing Life to Schools and Schools to Life, when they register for the event and save $11.00 off the cover price!

AGENDA »Download the full Agenda (PDF, 229K)«

Friday will consist of two keynote addresses and 12-15 breakout sessions. Friday evening will feature the West Hawai‘i premiere of the documentary Nā Kupu Mana‘olana - Seeds of Hope, Danny Miller’s new film on Hawai‘i’s agricultural history and promise. Saturday will begin with a buffet breakfast and orientation at the Gates Auditorium, followed by tours of up to six school gardens in the Waimea area, and culminating in a special garden luncheon at Māla‘ai with Slow Food Hawai‘i. The Symposium will conclude after lunch on Saturday, June 8, at approximately 2:30 p.m.

The first cohort of Kū ‘Āina Pā will present their year-long action research projects at the Symposium. The class of 26 teachers from Hawai‘i Island has been working individually and together to deepen their knowledge and skills in the art of teaching in school learning gardens. The cohort will present on subjects of interest that integrate core curriculum and learning in the outdoor school garden classroom, providing these teacher-leaders the opportunity to present their work to other teacher-leaders.

Registration is $50.00 per person and includes breakfast and lunch each day, as well as conference materials. A limited number of scholarships are available to help defray registration fees; for more information contact Nancy Redfeather at

Registration and payment are due by June 5, 2013. Register online at, or call 808-887-6411.

Sorry, all scholarships for Symposium registration and travel have been awarded.

The following airlines fly to Kailua-Kona:
Hawaiian Airlines
Pacific Wings
Island Air

The Conference is in the Waimea (also referred to as Kamuela) area in the north-central part of Hawai‘i Island (map). Driving Time from the Kona Airport to Waimea is about one hour. Registration and breakfast will be from 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Friday, June 7, so registrants are encouraged to arrive on Thursday and stay overnight. We will finish on Saturday, June 8, in time to drive to the airport and catch late afternoon flights. There are many bed and breakfasts and small inns in the Waimea area, as well as hotels and resorts along the South Kohala coast. A limited number of dorm rooms is also available at HPA for a reasonable cost. Click here for a list of suggested accommodations.

We hope you will be able to join us for this unique and inspiring weekend. This will be the final presentation for the first Kū ‘Āina Pā, and no doubt will reflect the amazing work they have all accomplished this year, pioneering the new field of sustainability education.