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Mālama Learning Center

Mālama ʻĀina Field School

Papahana Huakaʻi


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Week 1: Exploring the past through the lens of the pā and the future through the propagation of restoration plant species. Our Mālama ‘Āina Field School students got an introduction to the Nānākuli Muliwai as they heard some historical accounts from some Nānākuli natives and compared it to what they see today.

Week 2: Removing invasive species, planting native wetland species, fossil coral identification, water quality testing, and a creative reflection of how the students envision the future of the muliwai. We also did some review on the water cycle and planted ʻaʻaliʻi, and observed the abiotic and biotic factors that make up the Nānākuli muliwai kaiaola (ecosystem).

Week 3: This week’s sub-theme was climate change and what we can do to help mitigate its effects on our ʻāina and people. We enjoyed learning from our guest speakers, making solar ovens, and working at a dryland mesic forest restoration site.

Week 4: Mālama a special restoration site by removing haole koa, and learning the importance of place names and mo’olelo. Later, the students wrote their own mo’olelo (story) of how Keawa’ula (“The Red Harbor”) got its inoa (name). Haumāna also learned about community efforts and collected water quality data.

Week 5: We gained ʻike through our hana of clearing invasives, planting kalo, learning moʻolelo, and practicing our ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi! To celebrate all that we did and learned this summer, haumāna presented their projects, shared their gifts in an epic talent show, and were given some makana from our staff during our Hōʻike last Friday at the beautiful KS Kalanihookaha Learning Center in Nānākuli

Over five weeks, our Field School haumāna were able to complete various hands-on activities from home each relating to our weekly themes. We made lauhala stars, did some leaf printing on canvas bags, planted ʻaʻaliʻi and maʻo seeds, created solar ovens, made an ʻahele (crab snare), and finally tie dyed masks using ʻōlena! ʻĀina-based education looks and feels a little different these days, but with good planning and prep, we make it work!

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