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'Ike Māla

National Tropical Botanical Garden

Kalāheo, Kauaʻi, McBryde Garden, Lāwaʻi

3-5, 6-8

Summer 2023

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A participant's grandparent: I'd like to thank everyone involved with this program because my grandson would come home everyday and talk all about what he did each day, he really enjoyed the program.


ʻIke Māla utilized our garden's resources and location to reinforce strong biocultural influences of traditional wisdom in aloha ʻāina, malama ʻāina and kuleana. Both age groups were exposed to the same lessons with interpretation at levels that made it easy to relate to and were possibly familiar to them as they may have been exposed to these values at home. Some activities to achieve these goals were:

Aloha ʻĀina ------ Lessons and interpretation of ahupuaʻa and the importance of wai to kupuna in ancient times and to us today. Wai sustains the nahele and the nahele sustains us.

  • Native garden walk. Learning our native plants and their importance to native ecosystems. We planted palapalai ferns for learners to take home as a lesson on how they contribute to conservation in their own way.

  • Loʻi kalo and Māla. Hands on work in ʻuala patch, harvesting and preparing for replanting, and getting into the mud and planting kalo in our loʻi.

ʻOhana ------ Knowing our kupuna keeps us grounded in our history, reinforces ike kupuna and provides lessons for the future. Moʻokūʻauhau, learning about our kupuna keeps us grounded and instills pride in the "place" we come from.

  • We handed out worksheets for each learners to write down their family lineage. We also learned about Hāloa and relationships of land and sea.

Kuleana ------ Learning our repsonsibilities to ʻāina and ʻohana. Knowing that our contributions to conservation today will help preserve our unique island ecosystems for the future.

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