Maui News

Haleakalā NP Teams Up with Hāna HS for Kīpahulu Restoration Project

February 24, 2017, 8:19 AM HST
* Updated February 24, 8:20 AM
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Kīpahulu planting project with Hāna High School. PC: Haleakalā NP.

Hāna High School’s 10th grade Biology class planted 100 Hala, Milo, and Kamani on the Kuloa Point Trail in the Kīpahulu District of Haleakalā National Park during a restoration project conducted on Feb. 8, 2017.

The project aims to restore overgrown pasture lands with a native vegetation community that will enrich the visitor experience for future generations.

Maui’s low elevation and coastal ecosystems have undergone dramatic human-influenced changes. “Prior to agriculture and ranching impacts, the Kuloa Point Trail was likely a Hala Forest Community, self maintaining and productive,” said park biologist Woody Mallinson.

Kīpahulu planting project with Hāna High School. PC: Haleakalā NP.

Hala (Pandanus tectorius) was a large component of these systems and is considered one of the most useful plants in Polynesian culture. Kīpahulu Park Ranger Walter Pu said, “Hala has so many uses, it’s what made the sails that got our ancestors here.”

The project continues the restoration of Maui’s ecosystems while connecting Hawaiʻi’s youth with nature and their cultural heritage. “Taking care of the land is so important to our culture, and passing that responsibility on to our youth is as meaningful as it gets,” said park employee Hanky Eharis.

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