Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Revisiting Mokauea Island

On Janurary 17, 2015 our first trip of the year was a revisit to Mokauea Island. The Tree Huggers love Mokauea so much and every trip is a unique experience.






This time, we spent a long time exploring sea creatures on the reef. The tide was nice and low so we could walk out pretty far. Tree Huggers daw eels, fish, crabs, anemones, sea cucumbers, and sea hares. On the way back in, we collected some invasive Gorilla Ogo (Gracilaria salicornia) from which we would sort out and remove the marine organisms.

We also uncovered cuttings from the cups (used Koebele's Big Gulp Method) to find that most of the cuttings had survived since blue track had planted them in December.

Thanks to the parents who helped to chaperone and drive all the students!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ahua Reef

On Saturday, November 22, 2014, the Tree Huggers headed to Ahua Reef on Hickam to participate in a wetland restoration project. The students removed invasive pickleweed and planted native coastal plants including ʻĀkulikuli (Sesuvium portulacastrum), ʻAhuʻawa (Cyperus javanicus), and ʻIlima (Sida fallax).





The Tree Huggers had previously visited Ahua Reef last school year. The results of last year's planting were mixed One area in which pickleweed was removed and that floods with really high tides did not do so well with the plants that had been planted there. While we thought the 'ahu'awa and others would work well in that area, the only native thriving seems to be the ʻĀkulikuli. So, we focused all the new cuttings in that area.
The 'ahu'awa was planted around a drainage ditch as it should be able to withstand flooding events and the hope is that it will help to remediate the water from that drainage area before it enters the rest of the wetland and the ocean.





For more information about the importance of wetlands, check out this publication from NOAA.

Good work Tree Huggers! See you in January!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Native Plant Nursery Work Day at MMS Campus

On Saturday, November 15, 2014 a small group of the Tree Huggers welcomed a group of teachers in the Malama Honua class from UH Manoa to learn about the work they are doing with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership.


By the end of the quick afternoon work session we transplanted 660 milo (Thespesia populnea) plants to larger pots and started some lama (Diospyros sandwicensis) in seedling trays.


Those plants will all eventually make their way to the Wai'anae Mountain range. The milo will be a dominant plant in the the vegetative fire break in the Wai'anae kai forest reserve.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kealia Trail - Seed Collecting with WMWP

On Saturday, October 25, 2014 the Tree Huggers were led by Uncle Keoki of the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership on a short seed collecting hike along Kealia Trail. We were looking for Aulu or Lonomea (Sapindus Oahuensis) seeds that look kind of like large olives. We got more fresh seeds than Uncle Keoki anticipated. He believes the recent storm helped to bring some down from the canopy onto the trail. Along the trail Uncle stopped us to tell us about the various native species that can be found on Kealia Trail. Some of the ones he talked about besides lonomea were Milo, Ilie'e, and Wiliwili. Although we didn't make it to the picnic table this time we'll be back again for more hiking another month!






It was nice to see some new and returning faces on this trip! We look foward to seeing everyone next month!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mokauea Island

On September 27, 2014 the Tree Huggers visited Mokauea Island. We learned about the cultural significance of the place as well as the more recent history of the land. We also got to Malama the land by planting cuttings of native 'Akulikuli to replace a patch of invasive pickleweed that had previously been removed. After using the "Big Gulp Method" to plant the cuttings the group walked out into the marine environment to look for marine organisms. We found lots of fish, sea cucumbers, feather dusters and other worms as well as anemones.










See you at Kealia in October to work with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership to collect seed and hike!

Wai'anae Kai with MHS

In what has become an annual event, the MMS Tree Huggers visited Wai'anae kai with Hui Malama o Mililani from MHS. The past three years we have started off our school year with a trip to the cultural site on the Kumaipo Trail.

The students did an excellent job removing invasive strawberry guava and weeded some under story weeds around native plants that had been planted to replace the strawberry guava. We will work with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership as they continue to plant native plants in the area and remove invasive species.










Mahalo nui loa Tree Huggers!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kuaokala Road

On Saturday, April 21, 2014 the Tree Huggers went on a road trip across the Wai'anae Mountain range with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership.



We traveled from the Wai'anae side up Kuaokala Road and exited on the north shore. The experience was a unique four wheel drive trip across the mountain for the few Tree Huggers who dared to venture. The experience was unique because the road is closed to those without security clearance and/or a special permit. We saw several jeeps along the way of those likely out for a drive or possibly headed to Peacock Flats to camp.


While on the ride, we collected seeds from many native plants. The seeds will be germinated and the plants grown in the campus greenhouse for out-planting in the Wai'anae Mountains as part of the WMWP's reforestation projects.





Seeds we collected included those from species like 'a'ali'i (Dodonaea viscosa), 'uhaloa (Waltheria indica), 'ilima (Sida fallax), and ko'oko'olau (Bidens torta). While we spent most of our time collecting at one location, we did drive-by collections when we saw mature fruits along the road.






We had a great adventure, with mostly-dry road conditions and look forward to next month's trip which will be in the Wai'anae Mountains again.