WAIANAE, Hawaii - Ma¯lama Learning Center, a local nonprofit dedicated to conserving the culture and sustainability of Hawai`i through education, recently announced a new initiative aimed at growing awareness and support for re-growing critical sites around the island. Named Ola Na Kini – which translates to “Life for the Multitude” in Hawaiian – it focuses on replanting native plants that once thrived in the Islands, starting in the Waianae Mountains.

The name is an excerpt from a traditional Hawaiian pule (prayer) which seeks to bring life and good deeds to all. “We are excited to start sowing the seeds for Ola Na Kini in our own backyard in Leeward Oahu. This program will work closely with the community and our students to bring back the native Hawaiian plants that once thrived here and help heal the land,” says Pauline Sato, Malama Learning Center’s executive and program director.

In line with Malama Learning Center’s efforts to combine art, science, conservation, and culture to promote sustainable living throughout Hawai`i, this specific program aims to inspire others on the importance of healing the land, ocean, and multitude of life through engagement and education. Participants will study and explore the significance of various native trees, shrubs and ground cover, as well as culturally important and edible plants known to strengthen the resilience of landscapes.

Ways the community can support Ola Na Kini currently include:

School Programs & Conservation Leadership Internships: Ola Na Kini will partner with students and community volunteers in the classroom. Currently the program collaborates with students and teachers from ten schools on Oahu – Waipahu High School, Campbell High School, Kapolei High School, Kawaihona O Ka Naauao Public Charter School, Kamaile Academy, Waianae Intermediate and High Schools, Nanakuli High & Intermediate, Leeward
Community College, and U.H. West O’ahu.

The partnership with these schools will present elementary through college students and teachers the opportunity to study environmental conditions like soil health and water quality, and conduct experiments on planting techniques at various sites within the Honouliuli and Nanakuli watersheds. They will also study the history and cultural significance of these sites, which are on public and private lands. Through these studies, participants will be able to devise creative solutions, working directly with conservation and agricultural professionals and learn firsthand about 21st century careers.

“Lima ilalo - Hands to the Earth” Community Work Days: The program will host monthly, community work days every second Saturday of the month. The work days will take place at various sites in Leeward O?ahu including the Piliokahe Coastline, Na¯na¯kuli Wetland and Pa¯lehua. All work days run from 9 am - 11:30 am. To RSVP for a work day or for more information contact Chelsey@malamalearningcenter.org or call (808) 305-8287.

Native Plant Giveaway Days: Twice a month, Malama Learning Center offers free native plants at its booth at Makeke Kapolei, a farmers’ and green market at Kapolei High School held on Thursdays from 3 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Other native plant giveaway days will be held at special events. Contact info@malamalearningcenter.org or call (808) 305-8287 for a schedule of giveaway days.

Me + Tree Gift: Those interested in supporting this program can make an individual gift. For every donation of $50 Malama Learning Center, will be able to plant a native tree. This is a way for schools, businesses, and individuals to get involved and can also serve as a "green" gift to a friend or family member, or as a lasting legacy for an organization. All Me + Tree donors will receive a certificate acknowledging their contribution.

Ola Na Kini will further engage the public in conservation efforts through site visits, field experiences and community workdays, helping to heal the land and ocean while highlighting the rich resources in Leeward O?ahu that require everyone’s attention and care.”

For more information about Malama Learning Center’s Ola Na Kini initiative visit www.malamalearningcenter.org/ or call (808) 497-5323.