The Ahupuaʻa of Honouliuli: A Living Classroom for Natural and Cultural Restoration
Thanks to funding support from the NOAA B-WET program and Pacific Links Hawai`i Foundation, we started a new program that will study the ahupua`a of Honouliuli where much of our work is located. (Honouliuli is the largest ahupuaʻa, a traditional land division, on the island of Oʻahu.) In the fall of 2013, we began work with with three schools (Kapolei High, Nānākuli High & Intermediate, and Hale O `Ulu Alternative Learning School) and three teachers to deliver the program covering major topics on ecosystem resilience and restoration, climate change, natural and cultural history of the Honouliuli ahupuaʻa, threats to healthy systems, plant propagation (using the nurseries we helped build in previous years) and outplanting. Students were asked to investigate problems and issues using skills such as scientific inquiry, data collection, observation, hands-on activities, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
Students worked at three outdoor learning sites:
Piliokahe Beach (managed by the City & County of Honolulu and Mālama Learning Center)
Palehua dry forest area (managed by Gill/Olson Joint Venture)
Kauhale Preserve (managed by Hoakalei Cultural Foundation)
The overarching goal of this project is to increase natural and cultural knowledge of students and teach them skills useful in “green” jobs, leading to self- and community-pride through providing students with meaningful, place-based science experiences that “connect the dots” between environment, culture, and education.
Near the end of the school year, students participating in this program gathered to enjoy the historic train ride from `Ewa to Kahe Point to see the ahupua'a of Honouliuli from a different perspective, and share what they learned with each other.
Students from Kapolei High School's Digital Media class, under the direction of Victor Salazar, Jr., created this short video about the program.