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.