Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ahua Reef

On Saturday, November 16, 2013, the Tree Huggers visited Ahua Reef on Hickam. Ahua Reef is very near the reef runway so we could see and hear airplanes landing the entire time.They got up close and personal with the invasive coastal plant pickleweed and the creatures living among it in the sand. Some students even found some scorpions and were brave enough to hold them...using gloves of course!

After clearing pickleweed from a designated area students planted 70 native plants from three species, 'Ilima (Sida fallax), Naupaka kahakai (Scaevola sericea), and Naio (Myoporum sandwicense).
The trip was a unique experience and hopefully next time any of the huggers fly over Ahua Reef in a plane they can look down and tell their parents "Look at that native plant...I planted it"
Good job Tree Huggers!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Makaha Valley Service Project

On October 19, 2013 the Tree Huggers went to Makaha Valley with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership and the Board of Water Supply.

They worked with the Board of Water Supply folks led by Amy Tsuneyoshi to help create a vegetative fire break. The purpose and goal of creating the vegetative fire break is to prevent or slow the spread of fires into the forested areas of Makaha Valley and the Wai'anae range. It helps to create a buffer between the forested and urban areas.
Nice shirts...

The students worked really hard removing guinea grass with sickles and creating contour lines using A-frames. At the end of the trip students got to hike up the valley a bit and enjoy the view.

Great job tree huggers! Next stop is Ahua Reef in November.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

T-shirt Orders Due & Save the Date

Don't forget to order a Tree Huggers T-shirt. Come see Ms. Kuwahara for an order form. Orders are due October 1, 2013.

Save the date for our next Tree Huggers outing to Makaha, Saturday October 19, 2013. We'll be working with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership folks again. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Saturday, September 21, 2013 the Tree Huggers worked with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership folks as well as Friends of Honouliuli. The day began at the upper elevation greenhouse built by the Friends of Honouliuli. Huggers worked to transplant a'ali'i (Dodonaea viscosa) seedlings into larger pots at the greenhouse.

Then, we ventured up the road to the trailhead. We didn't make it all the way, just to the clearing where we ate lunch overlooking Pu'u Heleakala. We took a long time because we collected seeds of native plants like 'ohi'a lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha), 'uki'uki (Dianella sandwicensis), pilo (Coprosma rhynchocarpa) and 'ala'alawainui (Peperomia sp.) along the way.

We had a quick lunch as the clouds were moving in and we didn't want to get caught in the rain.

But it was a great and educational adventure for all us. Thanks to all the new Tree Huggers for coming out this year.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wai'anae Kai Forest Reserve - Trip #2

On August 17, 2013 the Tree Huggers returned to Wai'anae Kai Forest Reserve. This year we again partnered up with Hui Malama from Mililani High School.

On this year's trip we continued to work on removing the invasive strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum) in the cultural restoration site. 

After lunch, we transplanted some Palapalai (Microlepia strigosa var. strigosa) that is an important plant in hula and in la'au lapa'au. It is used to treat hehena [insanity] illness.


We collected seed from Papala kepau (Pisonia brunoniana). Papala kepau seeds are sticky and were used to catch birds for their feathers. The plant also has other uses including medicinal uses. The milky sap can be used for cuts, the cooked leaves for pāʻaoʻao (childhood disease with physical weakening) and for lepo paʻa (constipation).


Friday, August 23, 2013

Mt Ka'ala - March 9, 2013

Many months ago, the final Tree Huggers outing for the 2012-2013 school year, the dedicated Tree Hugger members attended a field trip to highest elevation on the Wai'anae range and all of O'ahu, Mount Ka'ala. This lucky bunch was driven up to Mt. Ka'ala by the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership coordinator and crew.

Along the way they stopped on the side of the road to teach the kids about the plants as well as so the students could see the views and experience the change in climate as the elevation increased.
On the way up we saw ranch land, erosion issues caused by non-native species,  a transition from highly non-native forest to very native.

I even had a Tree Hugger moment with some 'ape, Gunnera petaloidea,which I had never met alive and in person prior to that day.

While in the bog the clouds rolled in and we hiked along the boardwalk talking about and learning about the many native species in the bog. It was a great experience for all Tree Huggers.

On the way down the hill some huggers almost caught baby feral pigs that were on the road but they were too quick. Hopefully someone caught them and they did not add to the population of feral undulates in the forest.
It was a great trip and I can't wait for the dedicated huggers to be able to experience Mt. Ka'ala this school year.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lo'i Workday

Saturday, February 9, 2013 the Tree Huggers and the MHS Hui Malama visited the Sales and Enos family Lo'i in Hale'iwa. It is a beautiful oasis tucked on the side of the bypass road. Historically, Emerson Road ran along the property and would take you all the way to Matsumoto shave ice. The asphalt remnants we stood on for rest and to put our bags were all that remained of that portion of the old Emerson Road on their property.

The Lo'i has a fresh spring that feeds the land and drains into the neighbor's property as well as the eventually into the Anahulu River and out into the Bay.

With lots of hands to make the work light we spent a couple hours cleaning out the weeds from the patch. The weeds had built up since the last time the family had worked in the lo'i. They mentioned that they usually work once a month in the lo'i but take the holiday months off.

After a couple hours of mud therapy, the family generously provided the workers with lunch and fellowship. Thank you! It was Mr. Horstman's favorite part of the day. He even ranked this as the best Tree Huggers trip because of the food.

See you next month Tree Huggers!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Palehua-Palikea Take Two

Saturday, January 26, 2013 the Tree Huggers revisited Palehua to hike. We were waiting for another group to join us we stopped at one of the cabins open to groups to utilize. If groups want to stay there, then they pay-back Palehua Ranch by assisting Ranger Anu in his work to restore the native landscape. The view from the cabin was spectacular. The panorama from Pu'uloa to up past Mililani was beautiful. While we were there Auntie Kehau and Ranger Anu spoke to the group about the history of the land they were standing on as well as the areas of O'ahu we could see from the vista.

After loading back into the cars, we headed for the trail head. Although it had gotten late and we were not able to hike the entire trail as planned, we did make it far enough to see Nanakuli and learn the mo'olelo of Pu'u Heleakala and talk about various native plants along the way.

It was a good thing we turned back when we did in terms of getting students back but also because the rain came in. We hiked the last 3/4 miles or so in clouds and rain. Someone must have picked an 'ohi'a blossom!

Good hike Tree Huggers. See you next month!