In partnership with the Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association (HFIA), HFI is working with Skyline Eco-Adventures-Akaka Falls to implement the Skyline Eco-Adventures Demonstration Project. In addition to adding a new cultural education component for an estimated 15,000 Skyline residents and visitors annually, this project is providing a unique opportunity for Skyline staff and their families to participate in enhancing the 300 acre property. Culturally significant plants that once grew in traditional Hawai‘i Island farms are featured, including Polynesian-introduced plants that arrived with migrations in voyaging canoes. These “canoe plants” play essential roles in Hawaiian culture, for food, fiber, tools, implements, building materials, and medicine.
The project was initiated with the first volunteer planting, which was held on November 11, 2018. Skyline Eco-Adventures staff and their families planted three linear plots along the walking path at Zipline #4 of the Skyline Eco-Adventures course. Polynesian-introduced plants Kalo (Colocasia esculenta), Awapuhi (Zingiber zerumbet), and Olena (Curcuma sp) were outplanted in the three plots.
HFIA Director and Aileen’s Nursery/Hawaii Agriculture Research Center (HARC) Horticulturalist Aileen Yeh led the planting event with assistance from HFI Volunteer Coordinators Iwikau‘ikaua Joaquin and Mika Gallardo. HFI/HFIA representatives gave planting demonstrations and provided information about the significance of the plants in the Hawaiian culture. Skyline will be creating and installing interpretive signage describing the plantings, including how each species plays essential roles in Hawaiian culture.
A Boy Scout Troop 82 volunteer planting was held on March 2, 2019, in which 10 Boy Scouts planted 100 Kalo (Colocasia esculenta).
Skyline Eco-Adventures decided to implement this project in order to achieve their goal of having a strong focus on tourist education. According to Skyline Eco-Adventures-Akaka Falls Owner and Operator Megan Boren, “We endeavor to show our guests a part of Hawai‘i outside of their resort, and show them the importance of preserving Hawaii’s plants and animals”. She adds, “We seek to demonstrate the importance of keeping our island clean and flourishing, so that their children can one day visit Hawai‘i and have it be even more beautiful then today”.
Skyline guest education goals include: Hawaiian plants and animals and their importance; Cutting down on waste and plastics to keep our oceans clean; and Making educated sunscreen choices to protect Hawaii’s reefs.
Mahalo to the Atherton Family Foundation for awarding HFI a $5,000 grant for the project. The Atherton Family Foundation makes grants for programs and projects that benefit the people of Hawai‘i with a focus on the arts, culture, and humanities; community development; education; environment; health; human services; spiritual development; and youth development. Foundation staff and grants administration is provided by the Hawai‘i Community Foundation.
Skyline Eco-Adventures Demonstration Project Summary
Atherton Skyline Article HFIA-Enews Winter 2018
Boy Scouts Plants at Skyline Eco-Adventures
November 11, 2018 and March 2, 2019 Volunteer Plantings