New Life at Kahalu‘u:
Remembering the Past and Embracing the Future
Photo: TKC’s leadership team celebrates the opening of the Kahalu‘u Bay Education Center on December 3, 2011. From left to right: Roberta Chu, President of the Board of Directors; Elizabeth Cole, Deputy Director; and Matt Hamabata, Executive Director.
It's my opinion that when people see and understand the integrity of a native point of view with a scientific and spiritual essence to it, then there's pause to create questions of how. For example, how can we care and how can we expand this caring attitude to all other aspects of our relationships with the world. The renewal efforts at Keauhou-Kahalu‘u make visible the connections between mauka and makai (mountain and sea)…indeed, they make it clear that, yes, we have all come via the great waters of life. —Al Lagunero, Hawaiian muralist who created the painting that graces the Kahalu‘u Bay Education Center van
In 2006, Sara Peck of UH Sea Grant and community members approached The Kohala Center (TKC) and asked if we could help sustain and expand the ReefTeach program she created and implemented at Kahalu‘u Bay. This program educates visitors about how to take care of the coral reef and natural resources in the bay. Visitors, not knowing any better, were trampling on the live corals and killing them. Between 350,000 – 400,000 visitors visit Kahalu‘u yearly, attracted by the shallow waters and easy access to the bay’s dynamic reef environment. With the help of our partners at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association), HTA (Hawai‘i Tourism Authority), and KIC (Kamehameha Investment Corporation), TKC adopted the ReefTeach program at the bay and began recruiting volunteers to help educate visitors on proper reef etiquette. Volunteers who were passionate about saving Kahalu‘u Bay showed up every week to educate our visitors. Some of these original volunteers are still with us today, six years later. “They are precious treasures in our community,” says TKC’s Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator, Cindi Punihaole. “We are proud to know them…they have become ‘ohana (family) to us,” she says.
Because of our commitment to restore Kahalu‘u Bay, in 2011 the County of Hawai‘i awarded The Kohala Center a ten-year contract to manage Kahalu‘u Beach Park vendor operations and create an educational center there. On December 3, 2011, the Kahalu‘u Bay Education Center was blessed and officially opened to the public. Read “Fulfilling the Dreams of Our Kūpuna” on the Back Page to learn more about the new education center and TKC’s vision for the future.
Cornell EES Program: Planting a Future Forest
By Alexandra Moore, Director, EES Field Program
Photo: Dylan Webster and Claire McKinley measure outplants at Ka‘ūpūlehu.
January marks the return of Cornell University students to Hawai‘i Island. In 2012 we will have a class of 16 students from Cornell University and Oberlin College. The group will arrive on January 14 for a four-month immersive living and learning experience. As we get ready to welcome our new class to the CU Field Program in Earth and Environmental Systems (EES), we also look back on the accomplishments of our previous student groups.
2011 was the third year that the EES program has endeavored to offset all of our carbon dioxide emissions and run a carbon-neutral program. We monitor our carbon footprint; calculate the CO2 emissions from all of our air travel, ground travel, domestic energy, food, and waste; and we work to make that footprint as small as possible. Our three-year cumulative carbon footprint is 190 metric tons of CO2. The emissions we cannot eliminate are offset through reforestation. Working with island conservation partners, we help to restore degraded native forest ecosystems. Cornell EES students have, to date, outplanted more than 1,500 plants—including trees, shrubs, vines and grasses—representing more than 40 native species, at five separate restoration sites. We continue to monitor the survival and growth of our keiki plants, as they grow their way through a period of severe island-wide drought. The results are very encouraging, as overall mortality is low and many of the outplants are thriving.
Read “Small-Scale Solutions” on the Back Page to learn more.
BELL Hawai‘i Scholarship Opportunity
Photo: BELL 2011 participants enjoying their last sunset together as a group at their marine camp at Kawaihae Harbor.
Brown’s Environmental Leadership Lab (BELL) Hawai‘i is a long-standing partnership between The Kohala Center and Brown University. BELL Hawai‘i offers students with interests in science, leadership, and cultural studies an unparalleled opportunity for place-based learning in the world’s most vibrant living laboratory—Hawai‘i Island. —Erica Perez, Expeditionary Learning Coordinator for The Kohala Center
The 2012 BELL Hawai‘i program runs from March 30–April 6 and features a wide range of workshops and presentations focusing on marine science, geology, volcanology, and traditional Polynesian navigation practices. This spring, a group of 30 students will have an opportunity to kayak and snorkel at some of Hawai‘i Island’s most pristine coral reefs, hike through lava tubes, explore native rain forests, conduct service work in rare dry forests, and talk story with respected kūpuna (native Hawaiian elders). Highlights of this year’s program include:
- Uncle Chad Paishon will teach the students about native Hawaiian voyaging practices.
- Sian Olsen, owner and operator of Kohala Kayak Sian, will take students on a guided kayak tour of Hawai‘i’s coral reefs.
- Rob McGovern of the Volcano Art Center will guide the group on multiple hikes in Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park, to explore lava tubes, craters, steam vents, and historic lava flows.
- Lyn Howe and Geoff Rauch, organic eco-farmers, will explain sustainable farming practices and lead the students on a tour of their off-grid farm, where they will have the opportunity to sample locally grown fruits.
- Yvonne Carter will teach the students about the rare endemic species found in the Ka‘ūpūlehu Dryland Forest, and the group will help with outplanting of native species and pulling invasive weeds.
- Ku‘ulei Keakealani, curator at the Ka‘ūpūlehu Interpretive Center at Kalaemano will guide the group around this ancient salt-making and Hawaiian petroglyph site.
The Kohala Center and Brown University are partnering to offer one full-tuition scholarship to a Hawai‘i Island high school student. January 23, 2012 is the application deadline for students wishing to apply for this scholarship. The student who is awarded this scholarship will also be required to complete Brown University’s application by February 2, 2012. For more information and online links to application materials, visit http://www.kohalacenter.org/scholarships/bellhi.html.
HI-SEES: Providing the Means to Do Science in the Field
The financial and classroom support provided by The Kohala Center through the HI-SEES program encourages and enables me to provide a high-quality, place-based, hands-on learning experience that enriches my students’ learning experiences. I have heard 100% positive feedback from students about this program. Students all concur they get more out of a hands-on experience in the field than they would just learning from a book. Some of the students have never been to Kapoho or ever really observed tide pools and their contents. Their HI-SEES experience adds to their knowledge for their future classes and to their life experiences. —Charlotte Godfrey-Romo, Hilo High School science teacher
HI-SEES, or Hawai‘i Island Science-based Environmental Education for Students, provides science-based and place-based environmental education for middle and high school students. The HI-SEES program was launched in July 2012 and will run through the current school year, culminating in a scientific conference for participants in May 2012. Currently, ten teachers and their students at seven island schools are engaged in the study of particular aspects of Hawai‘i Island’s marine or forest ecology. The goal of HI-SEES is to fully engage students in the scientific research process, so that students learn science by doing science and by applying their scientific findings to better understand real-life issues in their own communities.
Photo: Melora Purell leads a group of students from HPA into Kohala Mountain.
HI-SEES research projects incorporate various forms of technology and integrate indigenous resource knowledge and management systems with Western approaches to watershed resource management concepts. Scientific and cultural experts work closely with participating classroom teachers to assist with classroom instruction, research design, data gathering and analysis, and to provide logistical and financial support. Erica Perez, The Kohala Center’s Expeditionary Learning Coordinator, and Melora Purell, Coordinator of the Kohala Watershed Partnership, are this year’s HI-SEES education specialists. Ku‘ulei Keakealani, the cultural specialist for Ka‘ūpūlehu Dry Forest Restoration Project, along with Yvonne and Keoki Carter, are working with Konawaena Middle School teachers to incorporate the Ka‘ūpūlehu ahupua‘a into student projects. Marine biologists Kaipo Perez and Courtney Couch are sharing their research of coral reefs with students at Hilo High School and Innovations Public Charter School.
“Teachers need assistance with the costs and logistical details of taking their students out into the field,” explains TKC’s Erica Perez. “We provide transportation, mini-grant funding for in-class materials, scientific specialists, cultural specialists, and whatever other support teachers need. It is a privilege to work with Hawai‘i educators and provide them with the opportunity and means necessary to do science in the field. For many of our students and teachers, HI-SEES provides their only field trip during the school year,” Perez says. The HI-SEES project is funded by the American Honda Foundation and the Atherton Family Foundation.
Read “Anyone Can Become a Scientist” by Charlotte Godfrey-Romo, Hilo High School science teacher, on the Back Page to learn why HI-SEES matters to Hawai‘i’s teachers and students.
In Language There Is Life
Photo: Some years ago, Larry Kimura served as Merrie Monarch parade escort for Hawaiʻi Island.
A proverb in Hawaiian captures the essence of language very simply: I ka ʻōlelo nō ke ola, i ka ʻōlelo nō ka make. In language there is life, in language there is death. In other words, language is the essence of one's identity. Without your own language your identity is lost, or more analytically commented on as replaced by some other identity, not truly your own. Big languages of the world such as English have already assimilated many minority ones into their domain. —Larry Kimura, Mellon-Hawai‘i Doctoral Fellow
2011–2012 Mellon-Hawai‘i Fellow Larry Kimura is a doctoral candidate in the Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Kimura has worked in the University of Hawai‘i system for the past 40 years, teaching Hawaiian courses in Hawaiian language and culture. Kimura co-founded ‘Aha Pūnana Leo in 1983 and helped to establish the first Hawaiian language immersion preschools in 1984–1985, with the goal of producing native speakers of Hawaiian among preschoolers. Kimura served as the first director of the Pūnana Leo Pre-School in Honolulu from 1985–1989. In 1987, he helped to establish the State Department of Education Hawaiian Immersion Program. Kimura was born in Honoka‘a and raised in Waimea, where his Hawaiian speaking grandfather and uncles worked as cowboys.
“A people living their lives through their own language, unique only unto themselves, is the essence of that people. It is a catastrophe for humankind to stand by and let this fundamental quality of life perish,” says Kimura. “I see this life force in all living things on this planet, such as in the variety of plants I see in my yard and into the distant landscape. Each genus comes from unique origins and each has a role to play in the continuum of life's evolution. Honoring and maintaining uniqueness is critical,” he says.
Kimura’s thesis, An Analysis of the Terminal Language of the Native Hawaiian Speaker: A Comparison of the Native Language of Two Generations, the Standard Language of the Parent and the Persistent Language of the Offspring, focuses on sensitizing Hawaiian language instruction to the informal register of language use, in order to accommodate a more holistic approach for Hawaiian proficiency. Kimura is mentored by Dr. William H. Wilson of the Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at UH Hilo.
Read “A Culture Encoded in Language” by Larry Kimura on the Back Page to learn more about Kimura’s work to revitalize the Hawaiian language.
Seed Workshops on O‘ahu and Maui
Photo: Kaua‘i Workshop participants separate seeds from the pod.
In November 2011, The Kohala Center launched the Hawai‘i Public Seed Initiative with a two-day Seed Basics Workshop and optional farm tour on Kaua‘i. Forty farmers and home gardeners attended and were presented with a wealth of information on how and why to save seed.
The Kaua‘i Seed Workshop demystified the basics of gathering my own seeds and empowered me to imagine a greater involvement with our garden. Bringing this knowledge and these friendships back to the garden has invigorated our daily work with enthusiasm and the knowledge that we are not doing this alone. —Paul Myers, home gardener who attended the Kaua‘i workshop
“Seed Basics for Farmers and Gardeners” is tentatively scheduled to be held at the Lyon Arboretum on March 24 and in Waianae on March 25, 2012. The O‘ahu workshop will include both lecture presentations and hands-on fieldwork at demonstration farms, so participants can practice harvesting, selecting, cleaning, and storing fresh seed. Strategies to account for differences in elevation, weather patterns, and rainfall will be discussed. O‘ahu presenters include:
- Alvin Yoshinaga, retired Seed Conservation Laboratory-Restoration Ecologist at UH Mānoa, will share his seed storage expertise;
- Hector Valenzuela, Ph.D., CTAHR Extension Office, will share his knowledge as a Vegetable Specialist;
- Russell Nagata, Ph.D., CTAHR County of Hawai‘i Extension Administrator, will share his extensive knowledge of lettuce propagation and seed production; and
- Glenn Teves, CTAHR Moloka‘i Extension Office, will share his knowledge of taro and tomatoes.
Photo: Participants in the Kaua‘i Seed Workshop preparing taro huli.
The Maui Seed Basics Workshop is slated for May 19-20, 2012. Maui presenters include:
- Hector Valenzuela, Ph.D., CTAHR Extension Vegetable Specialist;
- Russell Nagata, Ph.D., CTAHR County of Hawai‘i Extension Administrator;
- Glenn Teves, CTAHR Moloka‘i Extension Office;
- Paul Massey, Regenerations Botanical Garden;
- Local experts Gerry Ross and Penny Levin; and
- Nikki Duncan, who is visiting from the U.S. Mainland, will share her extensive experience growing, processing, and saving grain on a small scale.
For more details and registration information, visit http://www.kohalacenter.org/seedbasicsworkshop/about.html. Please contact Lyn Howe at email@example.com for more information on scholarship opportunities for youth who are interested in agriculture to attend these workshops.
Visit http://www.kohalacenter.org/seedbasicsworkshop/kauai.html to view the agenda and photos from the Kaua‘i workshop, or read “The State of Seed” in the Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network newsletter for a firsthand account of the November workshop.
Learning Opportunities in Hawai‘i’s School Gardens
Photo: Broccoli grown at Mala‘ai: The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School. Photo courtesy of Amanda Rieux.
The Hawai‘i Island School Garden Network has announced its spring 2012 workshop series. Workshops are geared for school garden teachers in the Network, but home gardeners and interested community members are invited to attend. Participation is free of charge.
This workshop was fantastic. It opened a whole new horizon of opportunities for local organizations to find funding. —Bob Green, Waikoloa community member who attended the Beginning Grant Writing Workshop with Koh Ming Wei on December 3, 2011
Upcoming workshops include a Garden Chef cooking demonstration at the Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences in Pahoa, a workshop on preparing traditional Hawaiian foods at Ke Kula ‘o Ehunuikaimalino in South Kona, and two food safety workshops with Nancy Redfeather.
For a complete listing of upcoming workshops, visit http://www.kohalacenter.org/HISGN/workshops.html. For additional information or to register, contact Donna Mitts at firstname.lastname@example.org or 808-936-2117.
Nurturing the Relationship between Students and the Land
Photo: Students at Mala‘ai Garden feed their hens.
The funding support we receive through the Hawai‘i Island School Garden Network enables us to continue our work nurturing the relationship between our students and the land with hands-on learning in our garden. Ma ka hana ka ‘ike, by doing one learns. We are preparing our students to make informed decisions about the land, their culture, and their own health in the future. —Amanda Rieux, Program Director and Garden Teacher, Mala‘ai: The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School
Sixteen Hawai‘i Island schools have received grants from The Kohala Center to support funding for their garden educators, for curriculum development, and for garden supplies. At the start of the current school year, schools that had a garden or were beginning a garden were invited to apply for HISGN funding. Schools are asked to match the amount of their Kohala Center grant with money from their school budget or with funds from other grants and fundraisers. Selected schools were also offered gift certificates for $50 worth of merchandise at Home Depot in appreciation for their participation in a professional evaluation of their programs.
Read “School Garden Grantees” on the Back Page to learn more.
School Garden Profile: West Hawai‘i Explorations Academy
Photo: Teaching at WHEA really means “NSLI,” or “No student left indoors,” says WHEA Middle School Teacher, Sara Medeiros.
You wouldn’t believe all the real-world academic applications there are to wrapping your hands around a seed bed. My students take both qualitative and quantitative data, they keep journals, they research where plants came from, and how they got (historically) here or there. They construct meaning out of these different variables, to understand why or why not this or that has happened. They engineer ways to keep their garden going. And when the year is over, they are aghast when I tell them it is time to put the garden to bed, meaning tear it down, take home plants, and make the ground ready for the next crop of 6th graders. —Sara Medeiros, WHEA Middle School Teacher
West Hawai‘i Explorations Academy (WHEA) is a public school serving students in grades 6–12, founded 18 years ago on a vision of innovation and invigoration of public education. WHEA integrates its curriculum into science projects which encourage students to participate in hands-on activities and gain skills that can be used to solve problems in the real world and in their future careers. WHEA is probably best known in the community for its student projects that include building solar and electric cars and for projects involving the marine resources available at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA). Gardening and agriculture projects at the school have expanded noticeably in the last five years. WHEA teachers help students develop garden- based project ideas and advise them on their gardening activities. Currently, WHEA students are experimenting with using deep ocean water to chill the soil, growing plants in hydroponic and aquaponic systems, using various organic fertilizers such as compost tea, and growing medicinal plants and plants that attract butterflies. These projects involve the students in growing various vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers.
I have learned how to care for a variety of plants. I’ve also learned how to work with other students to get tasks done. I think that our plant projects have progressed over time. I have more knowledge of plants now, so I don't have a negative relationship with plants anymore. This means that whenever I see a plant that needs water, I don't just ignore it; I water it and help it out. So I guess what I am trying to say is that I’ve learned compassion for other living things. —Taylor Anderson, senior at WHEA
Read “Compassion for Living Things” on the Back Page to learn more about WHEA’s garden program.
Scholarship Season at Hawai‘i Community Foundation
Photo: Courtesy of http://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/scholarships and used with permission here.
Scholarship Season has begun and this year Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) has a new application process to make it easier for students to find all of the scholarship funds for which they may be qualified. The deadline for scholarship applications is February 17, 2012, and the HCF Web site is now open for students to submit their applications and related materials.
HCF requires its scholarship applicants to meet the following criteria:
- Be a resident of Hawai‘i.
- Demonstrate financial need.
- Plan to attend an accredited two- or four-year college or university as either an undergraduate or graduate student.
- Be a full-time student.
- Demonstrate academic achievement—minimum grade point average of 2.7 unless otherwise stated.
- Exhibit good moral character.
However, students who don’t meet one or more of the listed criteria may still qualify. Please encourage anyone you know who will be attending college starting in the fall of 2012 to visit the HCF Web site at http://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/scholarships and apply.
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