Message from the Executive Director
As we enter some of the hottest months of the year, the cooling effects of shade trees makes being outdoors pleasant or some days even possible. Many of the large trees you enjoy today, especially in public spaces, were planted by The Outdoor Circle. As we look towards the future, we can see a massive need to plant more trees for all the many benefits they bring in addition to shade, and we are actively working on plans towards that goal.
As a continuation of TOC’s Exceptional Trees mapping project (see more on our website: www.outdoorcircle.org), we have been working with our friends at the Kaulunani Urban & Community Forestry Program on a pilot program to map trees in Kailua using newly trained ‘Citizen Foresters.’ We are working to expand this map on a larger scale so it can become a comprehensive tool to determine exact locations where the need for new trees is the greatest. Please read the Greenleaf article by Myles Richie which gives more details.
We have also developed an app that, among other things, shows walking tours of Kapi’olani Park and Fort DeRussy Beach Park, with Waimea Nature Park and other locations coming soon.
TOC also stays vigilant, on a daily basis, regarding illegal signage and visual blight, whether through individual calls to the office or challenges to legislators who put our visual landscape and view planes at risk via banners, ads, sponsorships for city and county properties, and so on. Newer challenges also include areas of light pollution and the destruction of beauty caused by excessively bright lighting (see the Greenleaf article on The Death of the Night).
We have a wonderful retrospective written by Teresa Trueman-Madriaga on the two decades she has spent at the Kauluanani Council, and the many projects she was able to help fund for various TOC branches and the TOC state headquarters.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will hold its first meeting in the U.S. here in Hawai‘i from September 1-10, 2016. This is the largest gathering of its kind, and happens once only every four years. The Outdoor Circle is honored to be presenting a panel on “A Century of Advocacy for Hawai‘i’s Environment and Preserving Its Beauty: The Outdoor Circle’s Past, Present and Future.” The exhibit hall will be free and open to the public, and we also invite you to join us at our presentation on Sunday, September 4th at 11:00 a.m., Pavilion B.
We had a terrific Sunset in the Forest fundraiser in May at the historic Nutridge Estate on Tantalus with delicious food, fabulous music from local artists, and the warm welcome of volunteers in this amazing setting. Many thanks to all who helped make this event a huge success.
Many thanks to our hardworking board members, committee members and volunteers on projects locally and statewide. We thank our outgoing board members, Mike McFarlane, Yuklin Aluli, Jeremy Lam, and Brian Bagnall for their dedication and service, as we welcome new members of the board to be approved at the Full Circle/Annual Meeting scheduled on August 27th. You are welcome to join us at the Full Circle Meeting, the Annual Membership meeting, and the no-host luncheon. Details can be found on our website: www.theoutdoorcircle.org.
To continue to donate to The Outdoor Circle while you shop, TOC will again be participating in Foodland’s “Give Aloha” program. When shopping at any Foodland or Sack N Save store during the month of September you can donate to TOC during the check-out process. Just use your Maika‘i card and mention to the cashier that you would like to make a donation, up to $249, to The Outdoor Circle (I.D. #77116). Foodland will match your donation on a percentage basis. Also, when you shop at Foodland stores in Kailua, Beretania, Market City or Aina Haina, you can now purchase organically grown hydroponic lettuce from the women in the Lani-Kailua Outdoor Circle Learning to Grow Program at WCCC.
TOC has also joined the amazon.com “Smiles” program, where Amazon donates a certain percentage from each purchase when you designate TOC as your choice of charity. Simply bookmark the link on our website, and TOC will be automatically be designated as your charity of choice each time you shop.
We also ask if you value the work that The Outdoor Circle has done and will continue to do, that you include TOC in your planned giving arrangements. To include TOC in your estate plans to ensure your legacy gift helps continue this vital organization, please contact your estate planner, attorney, or our office for more information on how to easily set this up.
We are saddened to note the recent passing of long-time TOC friend and past Executive Director David Cheever. Past President Alexandra Avery has written a tribute to him in this edition of the Greenleaf.
Finally, I would be remiss in not thanking our terrific staff: Jackie Wah, our Operations Director, and Myles Ritchie, our Programs Director. The organization is fortunate to have such dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to further the mission of TOC.
Thank you for your continued support of The Outdoor Circle. We appreciate your contributions, participation when a call to action is made, becoming active with your local branch, and for renewing your membership, which allows us to speak with a louder collective voice to keep our islands clean, green and beautiful.
Have a safe and happy summer!
Winston Welch, Executive Director
The 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.