Hawai‘i Forest Institute awarded $82,500 in grant funding

  • Photo by KEOKI APOKOLANI CARTER KUPU interns and Kamehameha Schools Imi Pono students collect native seed at Ka‘upulehu Dryland Forest.
  • Photo by KEOKI APOKOLANI CARTER Konawaena High School students outplant native seedlings at Ka‘upulehu Dryland Forest.

Hawai‘i Forest Institute was recently awarded $82,500 in grant funding through the generosity of the Ka‘upulehu Foundation, whose mission is to amplify Ka‘upulehu’s Hawaiian traditions and practices by protecting and interpreting the natural, cultural and historic resources upon which they depend.

“We are so grateful to the Ka‘upulehu Foundation for supporting our mission of promoting healthy and productive forests,” said HFI Executive Director Heather Simmons. “Foundation funds will help us expand and enhance our Ho‘ola Ka Makana‘a o Ka‘upulehu restoration, education and forest management efforts.”

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The Ho‘ola Ka Makana‘a o Ka‘upulehu program is comprised of four strands — three outreach educational strands and one restoration strand. These four program strands are intertwined and equally important to program outcomes.

Each strand, while unique, provides curriculum that teaches the ecology of native ecosystems and integrates ideas of culture, malama, kuleana and creative thinking. Learning opportunities are offered in multiple ways — solo, as a team, on site, off site and sometimes online — depending on what is most appropriate to the circumstances and participants.

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The program’s target population includes students from a mix of Hawaii schools, particularly those serving Native Hawaiians as well as university students. Just a few of the many community groups that participated in forest stewardship learning activities at Ka‘upulehu Dryland Forest include Hawai‘i Youth Conservation Corps, Kamehameha Schools, Kealakehe Intermediate Na Kahumoku, Kealakehe High School, Cornell University, University of Hawaii at Hilo Environmental Studies, KUPU, U.S. Forest Service, Hauoli Mau Loa, Papahanaumokuakea, Hawaii Community College cultural geography class and Honokaa High School.

For more information, contact Simmons at 933-9411 or email hfia@hawaiiforest.org.

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