Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mt. Ka'ala

On Saturday May 23, 2015 the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership coordinated a trip up to Mount Ka'ala for the Tree Huggers school year finale. It was an excellent opportunity for the students to see native plants and animals (some of them rare and/or endangered) that live at the highest elevation on O'ahu. We learned about invaders that have impacted the ecology of the mountain and its inhabitants as well as got to see rare treasures like Trematolobelia kaalae and O'ahu tree snails. Mahalo nui WMWP for your support this school year and for this unique opportunity!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Kuaokala Road

On Saturday April 18th the Tree Huggers got a unique and exciting experience be traveling on Kuaokala road from the Wai'anae side of the mountains to the northshore, 4WD most of the way.
While we did not need to do much hiking we got to collect a lot of native seed for the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership. The seeds will be processed and then planted in the greenhouse back at school until they are large enough to be out-planted.
The views from the trail were breathtaking!

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!