Over the past year, TOC’s Exceptional Tree (ET) Initiative has continued to grow in popularity and as a result of this, has been featured by numerous media outlets including articles in Atlas Obscura, Honolulu Magazine and Civil Beat. These articles cover the history of Hawaii’s Exceptional Tree program, TOC’s role in helping to establish the program and the successes that have been accomplished thus far, while also highlighting future needs of the program. As TOC’s Exceptional Tree Map was one of the main features of the articles, this online, interactive resource received aesthetic and content upgrades that corresponded with the release of these articles.
In addition, due to TOC’s extensive work on the ET program and Myles Ritchie’s graduate research on a global standardized framework for such programs, TOC has proven to be an invaluable resource to various locations around the world that wish to begin or improve their own Exceptional Tree programs. This dissemination of knowledge has allowed TOC to help improve Hawaii’s Exceptional Tree program and the trees it protects, while at the same time, acting as a world leader on this topic, helping to ensure that some of the world’s most magnificent tree specimens are also preserved.
Myles has also been appointed as Vice Chair of the Honolulu County Arborist Advisory Committee and recently helped facilitate a major addition of the entire grove of trees on Kapiolani Boulevard to become exceptionalized, with this effort spearheaded and championed by Dr Brian Bagnall, President of the Greater Waikiki Outdoor Circle.
Finally, we are thrilled to announce that the Hawaii County Arborist Advisory Committee (AAC) was recently reformed and will now begin reviewing ET nominations for the Big Island. This follows a ten-year hiatus which saw no new ETs added for the county, however, with the current group of devoted individuals on the AAC, including Jonathan Sudler of TOC’s East Hawaii branch, TOC is looking forward to seeing many new Exceptional Trees added across the island.
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.