Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Kealia Trail

On February 20, 2016 the Tree Huggers hiked Kealia Trail up to the picnic bench with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed partnership.

Although they hug trees they couldn't keep their hands off their phones at the end of the trail!

Along the way we collected seeds of the native Lonomea from the trail floor as well as directly from the tree. The WMWP folks are looking into which types (ground or tree) will have higher germination rates.

We also collected some 'a'ali'i seeds for propagation, too.

Thanks for all your efforts Tree Huggers!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Revisiting Mokauea

On Saturday, January 9, 2016 the Tree Huggers took another trip to Mokauea Island to learn and work on the land. We got the usual warm greeting from Auntie Joni Bagood, resident and president of Mokauea Fishermen's Association. Then, Auntie Kehau Kupihea shared the history of the island and surrounding Ke'ehi Lagoon.

After the briefing, we gathered nets, buckets, and look boxes to go check out the marine life at low time. We found lots of organisms, including Kualakai (sea slugs and sea hares), sea cucumbers, eels, and crabs.

After a quick snack, we got tools to plant 'Akulikuli, a plant that has been very successful on the island until recently. Last year's heavy rains seemed to have revived some plants that we thought had died off with the lack of rain as well as allowed some of the native seeds in the seed bank to sprout and flourish. Unfortunately, the a few of the slow-growing 'Akulikuli plants that had grown to be very large patches have died off from the heavy rains. While it was sad to see them as big black mats of dead leaves, it was so great to see nanea, 'ohai, ma'o, 'ahu'awa, and others begin to come back to the original native out-planting area.

After planting, students put away the tools....except this student...and I'm not sure I accounted for this in our safety plan. Yike's Horstman, you just need to be constantly monitored don't you.

See you all in February!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Mauna Kapu - Palikea Hike

On Saturday September 26, 2015 the Tree Huggers were taken on a hike by the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership field crew to check out some native plants and try to seed collect.

It was a really special day with a great group of students and parents. We started out at their base yard, the old Air Force Tracking Station up in Palehua near Camp Timberline. After a quick history of the area and the plants, we got in the cars and drove to the trail head at Mauna Kapu.

Uncle Keoki spoke about the significance of Mauna Kapu as a signalling point. Then, we began our hike along the ridge. The winds were really strong and the weather was nice and cool.

We stopped along the way to check out plants like Maile, 'Ohi'a lehua,
and Ho'awa.

It was a great day for a hike! Mahalo to the WMWP for their help. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Kohelepelepe - Koko Crater Hike

On Saturday, August 29, 2015 the Tree Huggers went for a hike up the railway that was once used to transport supplies up to the WWII bunker on the top of what is known today as Koko Crater. Historically, the mountain is named Kohelepelepe after the enormous flying female body part that Pele's sister Kapo used to distract Kamapua'a with when he was attacking Pele.

We were greeted with a quick shower and lucked out with some cloud cover to keep us cool part of the hike.

The fastest Tree Hugger clocked in at 19 minutes, and the youngest and slowest took around an hour. Either way, the group had fun and was safe. The same cannot be said for one hiker who seemed to suffer from heat exhaustion. He was treated and released.

The view of Kalama Valley from the top has changed since 1983 as you can see in the photos.



See you next month at Palehua Tree Huggers! Good job!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Goodwill Goes GLAM

On Saturday, July 18, 2015 the Tree Huggers teamed up with the MMS Service Learning Club and volunteered at Goodwill Goes GLAM. The event is Goodwill's annual fundraiser to support their mission of helping people with employment barriers reach their full potential and become self-sufficient.

The opportunity to support such a great cause took us away from the normal tree hugging events but still supported sustainability efforts as Goodwill's programs help to keep 12.5 million pounds out of our landfills every year.

The students helped to put price tags on the items, label the tags with sizes, and sort clothes for the retail event.

Tree Huggers also got a chance to shop at the event, get makeup advice, and meet Kini Zamora, local Project Runway star and the producer of this year's Goodwill Goes GLAM fashion show. We were all starstruck and lucky to have the opportunity to meet such a down to Earth, gracious, and talented designer.

Mahalo to all who shared their photos!

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!