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Members of the KS Hawai‘i High School Holoholo Hui explore the great outdoors during a huaka‘i (field trip) to Keauhou Mauka. The outing provided students with a variety of sustainability experiences.

KSH students model sustainability practices in a mountain setting

Oct. 27, 2014

Contributed by Shaundor Chillingworth

Holoholo Hui provides educational opportunities for Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i High School students who have a love for the outdoors.  From mauka to makai, Holoholo Hui teaches the haumāna about sustainability, using cultural practices in today’s society.

In September, for the first huaka‘i of the school year, haumāna traveled to Keauhou Mauka on the west side of Hawaiʻi island. While there, they learned about and took part in koa reforestation and sheep game management.

“This is our trial run,” says club advisor, Eli Kipiliʻi. “We hope to be able to bring small groups of haumāna throughout the school year, so they can experience this for themselves.”

Jonathan Faford and Dexter Pacheco of Hawaiʻi Game Management, LLC shared about the history of the ‘āina, the koa’s significance to the ‘āina, sheep game management and how that comes into play, along with the importance of ensuring that they can all coexist one with another.

Kipili‘i showed the haumāna how to look for and identify new koa shoots that were already present at the site. Students were then sent on a scavenger hunt to see if they could find some of their own. In addition, the club brought 75 koa seedlings to be planted thanks to support from KS Hawaiʻi Principal Lehua Veincent.

The club then took steps to protect the new seedlings by clearing fireweed and grass, digging holes, preparing wire rings laced with mesh, placing seedlings into the newly dug holes and gathering mulch around the bottom. Haumāna collected data on each seedling and used a GPS device to pinpoint each one for tracking purposes.

Earl Kalawaia, a volunteer with the Hawaiʻi Division of Forestry and Wildlife, held an archery demonstration for the haumāna. He also talked to them about safety, being responsible and having good hunting ethics.

Several sheep were harvested and haumāna were shown how to properly skin, debone and cure the meat.

The club then enjoyed the product of their work, with sheep on the menu for dinner that night. Haumāna were also able to take meat home for their ‘ohana at the end of the huaka‘i.

“It was evident that this outdoor classroom motivated the haumāna to learn, and learn they did,” says Kapili‘i.  

When asked what his thoughts were on the whole experience, senior Christian Ganal-Keopuhiwa said, “It’s my responsibility to give back in appreciation for all that I have received.”

The next huakaʻi is slated for November. Holoholo Hui is looking for interested sponsors to kōkua with the purchase of more koa seedlings for the next group of students selected to participate. Contact Kapili‘i at (808) 982-0796 or if you know of anyone interested in helping with this effort.

Mahalo to Eli Kipiliʻi and Lokelani Kipili‘i for submitting this article and photos from the huaka‘i. The Holoholo Hui would like to extend a mahalo nui loa to Principal Lehua Veincent for supporting the first huaka‘i with the donation of koa seedlings.

We hope to be able to bring small groups of haumāna throughout the school year, so they can experience this for themselves... It was evident that this outdoor classroom motivated the haumāna to learn, and learn they did.
Eli Kipiliʻi, Holoholo Hui advisor

The Haumāna experience an archery demonstration and safety lesson while learning about sheep game management.

Students identify and plant koa seedlings for reforestation efforts.

Students learn how to properly skin, debone and cure sheep’s meat along with important lessons on hunting ethics and safe practices.

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