KE KULA O SAMUEL M. KAMAKAU
HA‘IKU VALLEY, O‘AHU, HAWAI‘I
On a beautiful Saturday morning, April 30, 2011, we gathered as volunteers at the future Ke Kula O Samuel M. Kamakau Charter School Campus for a special Earth Day and Arbor Day tree planting. With an introduction from Jackie Rayla who is the Department of Land and Natural Resources Kaulunani's representative to the Environmental Chemical Corporation, ECC - Hawaii/Pacific (an eco-minded company that strives to facilitate environmental sustainability) generously donated funds for Native Hawaiian plants. Rick Kaponowaiwaiola Barboza from Hui Ku Maoli Ola Nursery provided and prepared the site for the planting day with Steve Timpson from Goto Construction, and Kealoha and Kala Domingo. Native Hawaiian red 'Ohi‘a Trees and Native Hawaiian Hapu'u Tree Ferns were planted at the entrance of the school in this beautiful setting in Ha‘ikū valley.
Ke Kula O Samuel M. Kamakau Charter School is a Kindergarten through 12th grade Hawaiian immersion school currently located at Kokokahi YWCA in Kāne‘ohe. The school has been fortunate to have been given a 55 year old lease for DHHL land in Ha‘ikū valley. The site is visible from the Kāne‘ohe side of the H-3 tunnel, located a few hundred yards below the freeway.
Mālama ‘aina or caring for the land and the environment are traditional Hawaiian values that the school strives to instill in their students. The goal of the school is to develop their kula into a "sustainable campus" that may someday be able to provide food for their cafeteria and the community.
Currently, Hai‘kū is inundated by invasive species such as Octopus and Bamboo plants. Native Hawaiian plants are the natural choice for this campus because of the Hawaiian cultural values that they are trying to preserve and perpetuate.
This very successful tree planting ceremony brought together Samuel M. Kamakau Charter School students, families, ECC volunteers, and friends for this special gift to the keiki for the future Haiku Samuel M. Kamakau Charter School. We truly worked together for The rejuvenation of a native forest and to Mālama our precious ‘Aina!
Ke Kula O Samuel M. Kamakau Charter School received an Award of Appreciation from the Betty Crocker Landscape Awards, sponsored by Scenic Hawai‘i in 2012.