225 Maui Students Plant 317 Threatened Silverswords at Summit
During February, a total of 225 students in the fourth through eighth grades from the Montessori School, Seabury Hall, Kamehameha Schools, and Kalama Intermediate School planted 317 federally threatened ʻāhinahina (silverswords) at the summit of Haleakalā as part of the Centennial celebrations of both Haleakalā National Park and the National Park Service.
Park administrators say the 317 silversword “keiki” will augment at-risk populations. Students also participated in ranger-led hikes and activities about the park’s natural, cultural, and geologic resources during their recent visit.
“I can’t think of a better way for Maui youth to learn to malama ʻāina and protect the unique natural heritage of Hawaiʻi for future generations,” said park superintendent Natalie Gates in a park press release.
Haleakalā ʻāhinahina are only found at the summit of Haleakalā. In March, students from Carden Academy, Haleakalā Waldorf School, and Montessori Hale O Keiki will engage in this hands-on stewardship as well.
2016 marks the Centennials of both Haleakalā National Park and the National Park Service. The theme of the park Centennial is “Gifts from Our Elders.” A one-day cultural festival set for July 30 is in the very early planning stages.
The park has also partnered with the Maui Arts and Cultural Center for their Aug. 28 to Oct. 23 art exhibit, “Hawaiʻi National Parks 2016 Centennial.”