As 2014 begins to wind down, we are reflecting on a very successful year for The Outdoor Circle. Please help us celebrate!
From new laws to improve the protection of our environment to on-going beautification projects that improve our communities, we have been hard at work keeping Hawai‘i clean, green, and beautiful. Your donation today will help continue this work for tomorrow.
Here are the top 12 things we are grateful for from this past year.
There is still time to get your donation in and receive a tax deduction for 2014. You can mail your donation check to our office in Honolulu (1314 S. King St. #306 Honolulu, HI 96814) or just click here for a secure and immediate credit card transaction. Your donation benefits the work of The Outdoor Circle and our branches throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
Thank you and happy holidays!
Waimea Outdoor Circle announces another volunteer day in Ulu La'au, the Waimea Nature Park, this Saturday, December 13, 9:00-Noon.
Jobs to do:
Taking down a multi-trunk mao hau hele which is leaning over a walking path in lower bed "E".
Taking down a dead koai'a in bed "D".
There are jobs for all ages and abilities, no knowledge of Hawaiian plants is necessary, we will happily train. Water, gloves and tools are provided as is a snack of fresh fruit and home baked cookies served at noon.
Waimea Nature Park is a project of Waimea Outdoor Circle created joyfully by 100% volunteer work from everyone, including people like you. The park is open during daylight hours and closes at 5:30 PM. The park is located directly behind Canada France Hawaii Telescope offices on Mamalahoa Hwy. Look for the Hawaiian Warrior sign on the CFH lawn and turn into the no name road there that leads directly into the park. Please do not park on the CFH lawn, the Nature Park has plenty of parking available. See waimeaoutdoorcircle.org for a map and other information. Or contact park co-chairs Carol Hendricks at 885-4453, Roz Wright at 885-2763 or park maintenance chair Ken Block at 885-4753.
Photo credit: one of our banners mounted on Ken's truck, ready for the Christmas parade, photo by Ken Block
Kapolei just got a little bit cooler thanks to nearly 300 trees gifted to area residents last week.
TOC partnered with the Kaupe‘a homestead for a community outreach and tree giveaway event. The giveaway featured 10 species of trees and plants -- most native, some fruit-bearing, all non-invasive.
Residents met and mingled, while deciding which trees were right for their yards. TOC volunteers were on-hand to help answer questions -- thank you Myles, Gloria, and Gracie! See more pictures from the Kaupe‘a tree giveaway here.
There was even talk about possibly forming a branch of The Outdoor Circle in Kapolei.
A very special thank you to Jeremy Lam and the Manoa Branch for propagating over one third of the plants at the giveaway. Also, thank you to Hui Ku Maoli Ola Native Hawaiian Nursery for working with us to identify and provide native plants ideal for the Kapolei climate.
Future events are planned. Connect with us if you are interested in participating.
In the first weekend of December the Waimea Outdoor Circle hosted their annual wreath-making class. They also gave away 250 trees at the Holiday Parade through Waimea town.
The wreath-making class was held at the Waimea Nature Park and featured greenery gathered from the slopes of Mauna Kea.
Waimea Nature Park -- ‘Ulu La‘au -- is a project of Waimea Outdoor Circle created joyfully by 100% volunteer work from everyone, including people like you. The park is open during daylight hours and closes at 5:30 PM. The park is located directly behind Canada France Hawaii Telescope offices on Mamalahoa Hwy. Look for the Hawaiian Warrior sign on the CFH lawn and turn into the no name road there that leads directly into the park. Please do not park on the CFH lawn, the Nature Park has plenty of parking available. See waimeaoutdoorcircle.org for a map and other information. Or contact park co-chairs Carol Hendricks at 885-4453, Roz Wright at 885-2763 or park maintenance chair Ken Block at 885-4753.
Welcome to our two newest additions to The Outdoor Circle: Gracie and Myles. We continue to build our in-office internship program and very excited to have two interns this Fall. If anyone is interested in gaining work experience while pitching in to help keep our islands beautiful, please contact our office.
Myles Ritchie recently graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Environmental Geography and is working towards his Masters Degree in this field of study. He will be interning for The Outdoor Circle for a full year, helping us to better protect the natural beauty of our islands. He originally hails from Toronto, Canada where his work focused on the fields of EIS and GIS.
Gracie Thatcher is a graduate of Punahou School and Loyola University Chicago. She has a degree in International Relations and Business with a focus on multi-cultural communications. She is well-traveled, most recently returning from an internship in Italy. Over the summer, Gracie interned for The Circle while working part-time. This Fall she will continue her work helping us with data management, communications, and community outreach.
SB 632 is now Act 218, SLH 2014!
We celebrated this great victory for the environment with a luncheon at HASR Bistro in Honolulu. See all the pictures from the great event here.
We owe a very special thanks to our heroes:
Committee Chairs Rep. Chris Lee and Sen. Mike Gabbard, as well as advocates Jan Dapitan, Alice Greenwood, DOCARE Chief Randy Awo and Dean Denise Antolini. It is because of your leadership, determination, and willingness to work together that this bill became law after so many years of effort.
We also want to give a shout out to the many groups that helped this bill along the way, including: Keep Hawaiian Islands Beautiful, Get the Drift and Bag It, Kua‘aina Ulu ‘Auamao, Nani O Wai‘anae, Conservation International, Department of Land and Natural Resources, and students at the William S. Richardson School of Law's Environmental Law Program.
To learn more about the Environmental Court in Hawaii, click here.
On Sunday, June 29th, eleven WOC volunteers worked for about three hours cleaning, weeding, trimming and sprucing up the center of town by taking part in Matson's Ka Ipu Aina community program. We made a noticeable difference and it was a fun project. This event raised $1,000 for Waimea Outdoor Circle!
By Alexandra Avery
The 2014 Legislative session ended with a big win for the environment (and The Outdoor Circle): establishment of a statewide Environmental Court. This new approach to enforcing our environmental laws will facilitate future efforts of our branches and volunteers to keep Hawai’i Clean, Green, and Beautiful. I want to especially thank the members who showed up at public hearings and spoke for the Circle. This was a major accomplishment for the Circle, considering this was our first Legislative Session without our long-time lead advocate and veteran lobbyist, Bob Loy. It was not easy, but volunteers worked hard to keep up our legislative presence in his absence. We should all feel good about the achievements made during this year’s session.
I have been encouraged by our branches outreach into the communities they serve. The good stewardship of Outdoor Circle members is evident throughout the state. We are a volunteer driven group that depends on annual memberships, donations and grants to make our projects and advocacy possible. We count on you to be stewards of the land and to help further our commitment to the environment.
Please help us to expand our membership and raise donations by telling your neighbors and friends about The Outdoor Circle and the work of its nine branches throughout the state. Share this newsletter with your friends and visit our website (www.outdoorcircle.org) and facebook page (www.facebook.com/TheOutdoorCircle). Download membership forms by clicking here and help encourage new people in your neighborhood to join-up. Call us for more ways in which you can easily be a Circle ambassador or to get involved in one of our committees: 808-593-0300.
We are lucky to have so many kupuna in our Circle, since of course we are such an ‘old organization.’ All of our branches are working to mentor in the next generation of Outdoor Circle leaders. Our leadership circle is available to speak to your neighbors or organization. We will be honoring these kupuna at our Annual Meeting in August. Hope you will join us and bring a future leader.
We are pleased to initiate a new column in the Green Leaf: Under The Canopy. This is YOUR column to share news of and from our membership. The first report is from East Honolulu branch member Christiane Kau‘i Lucas. What would you like to contribute to this column? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers with the Lani-Kailua Outdoor Circle mentor female prisoners through gardening and life in the “Learning to Grow” program at the Women’s Community Correctional Center. This hydroponic vegetable and herb garden was one of many projects showcased for visitors from the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WiPC:E 2014) in May. Conference participants -- indigenous leaders in education from around the world -- were introduced to current program participants, program graduates, and LKOC volunteers who showed them how the inmates raise the nearly 1,000 heads of lettuce, herbs and other vegetables used in prison meals every week. LKOC’s “Learning to Grow” program helped usher in several other food-growing projects at the center including groves of ‘ulu (breadfruit) and mai‘a (banana), and lo‘i (taro patches).
Twice a week, every week of the year, LKOC volunteers visit WCCC bringing soil, seeds, and their know-how to support inmates in the program. Inmates learn to cultivate food crops from seed to harvest and then prepare them for fellow inmates through the culinary program.
The Learning to Grow program is supported solely by donations from individuals and the proceeds of an annual plant sale. If you would like to support LKOC’s “Learning to Grow” program, click here to make a donation through our website (before completing your transaction, add “WCCC” or “Learning to Grow” in the notes section).
Volunteers from our five branches on O’ahu worked hard to stop the passage of Bill 69, which would have allowed billboards on the outside of city buses. Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi, chair of the Budget Committee, committed to deferring the fundraising measure for one year. The City Council passed a buget that restores key bus routes without resorting to bus billboard advertising to raise funds.
The challenge now is to identify additional sources of revenue for the City that can help to sustain basic city services (like buses and parks) without undermining the best interests of our community. Some of your suggestions for revenue sources have been proffered to the Council members in private meetings. Stay tuned as this issue continues to be discussed.
In the meantime, continue to build support for maintaining Hawaii’s ban on billboards by collecting signatures of the petition against bus billboards, talking to your Neighborhood Board and City Councilmember, and supporting The Outdoor Circle.
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.