On November 20 and 21, 2021, The Outdoor Circle returned to Camp Palehua to partner with Malama Learning Center and planted over 900 native trees. The event was funded by the Arbor Day Foundation and FedEx and saw 14 species planted on two sites located on the property. The tree planting acted as an educational learning center for elementary and high school students.
This restoration project saw 905 native Hawaiian plants (301 trees, 253 shrubs and 351 ground cover) go into the ground and were selected based on the complementary and symbiotic functions they have with one another. While our original total was intended to be 250-300 plants, we were able to surpass this amount by nearly three times due to the hard work of all those involved and that the plants themselves were grown on site, rather than being purchased by a third party as was originally anticipated.
Additionally, the event featured immersive education sessions where each group of participants learned about each of the native species being planted, why they were selected and how they will improve the former pasture land they were being planted on. The education component went beyond botanical and environmental concepts to include the invaluable cultural benefits these species provide and how these future native forests will restore the ‘aina.
This was one of the first planting events conducted since the COVID outbreak began which forced volunteer events to halt. There were groups of up to four volunteers (usually from the same household) in two-hour sessions that amounted to over 40 volunteers planting at the site over the two-day span.
Volunteers indicated their joy at being able to not only enjoy nature once again, but also participate in this educational restoration event that met all County and State COVID requirements.
Without the support of the Arbor Day Foundation and FedEx this extremely successful event would not have been possible and we are extremely grateful for their support.
Myles Ritchie, Programs Director, The Outdoor Circle
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.