One year ago, TOC announced a new collaborative program that it had begun to undertake with the University of Hawai‘i called the Carbon Neutrality Challenge. This program uses a three-tier approach focused on education, a unique carbon footprint calculator that tells you how many trees of a given species you need to plant to become carbon neutral and finally, a means to achieve this goal of carbon neutrality through the planting of trees at one of the program’s sites. Over this time, students from elementary schools through to the university level have participated in this program and has led to the planting of over 200 native Hawaiian tree species (Wiliwili, Lonomea and A‘ali‘I) at the Camp Palehua site.
Now, with the experience gained from this pilot project, the program will be expanding in scope to provide further access to additional students which will ultimately see many more trees planted around Oahu. Currently there are a few hundred trees growing at the UH greenhouse that are scheduled to be out-planted in the fall at the current Camp Palehua site, in conjunction with three newly proposed sites. These are located in Kailua, Moanalua and Wahila Ridge and have been made possible through support of the program by DOFAW and the Ko‘olau Mountains Watershed Partnership. The goal for the upcoming fall is to have numerous groups of students participate in the program and ultimately come to these sites and plant over 1,000 new native trees.
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.