Our Waimanalo keiki from Blanche Pope Elementary school took part in ‘Malama Kahakai”, a native plant restoration project on the Bellows AFS coastline. With Major William Cambron, commander of Bellow AFS presiding over the ceremonies, it was clear that our keiki came to fulfill the dreams of their Kupuna.. The 4th, 5th and 6th graders of Blanche Pope took great pride in realizing those dreams as they replanted native Hawaiian plants, that had long since perished, due to the introduction of many invasive species of plant life. The role of our Keiki, in how we reclaim much of our ancestral lands, is really dependent on how they are able to continue to plant and nurture what they have sown into the aina. Today, in my eyes, it was clear that our Keiki have been freed from the ‘chains of claim’, and are now focused on how our land and its people heal. Replanting is the beginning. The growth of each plant can be measured by the efforts of each child, as they find no fault in their pursuit of cultural and historical justice, with the sowing of each seedling. How wonderful it was, to watch these Keiki toil in the early morning sun, with no other thought in mind than “lets make this day pono for allwho have gathered here.
Once work was completed, and 1000 new plants were sown into the earth, the students quickly hiked over to yet another parcel of land, where the next project was being planned. By 11:30 am everyone returned to the pavillion, finished off a Subway lunch, and loaded the bus for the return trip to Blanche Pope Elementary school.
Mahalo Ke Akua for such a beautiful day and moon, which allowed for a successful planting cycle. We would like to thank the University of Hawaii, school of environmental studies, for their support and kokua in this effort. Mahalo Ke Akua
As promised here are some of the pic’s as provided by their teacher Eda Kaneakua.