In response to the 2018 natural disasters, a grant from the Arbor Day Foundation allowed us to give over 900 trees to residents of East Hawaii this past June. This outreach drastically increased our membership (easy to do as we were only at 21 then) and as a result, we have some new members to help with projects and to chair committees.
We are working with the Hawaii County Planning Department and Parks and Recreation on potential tree plantings, with a push coming up for a park dedicated to dogs AND memorial trees.
Our vice president Jonathan Sudler has an active role in the newly restarted Hawaii County Arborists Advisory Committee to the Mayor. As our county AAC was “on hiatus” for several years and with a start up interruption from Pele last year, they are playing catch up with checking on previously designated exceptional trees, and gearing up to qualify new ones for preservation.
EHOC continues to struggle with saving our living monuments of Banyan Drive from the gall wasp infestation. We are currently waiting on results of an experimental treatment that was done to one tree in June. We have to wait until the tree starts flushing again to see if the treatment is working. If it does, that will put us into a major fundraiser mode, as there are about 47 trees affected, and it will cost approximately $600 per tree!
We are currently planning our second year of participation in the Kamahalo Craft Fair at Cooper Center, during the Volcano Art Walk on Thanksgiving weekend. This year we will be selling a variety of plants and doing community outreach. Volcano is a wonderful place at that time of the year (cooler!) and we expect to see a good turn out.
Two of our current board members are now on our TOC executive board. Jonathan Sudler is Vice President and Joan Gossett is a Director for the 2019-2020 year.
The tree giveaway was an incredible event, not only to encourage folks to plant trees for carbon sequestration, but as a strong community outreach to get The Outdoor Circle name once again in the public eye on Hawaii Island. We are really hoping to do another next year.
Plant a tree! Or several. As we like to say, there is no “Planet B" as an option!
Greenleaf is the online newsletter and blog of The Outdoor Circle. Here you will find updates on the projects and accomplishments of our many branches throughout the state, as well as programs with statewide impact.