With the aid of an ANA [Administration for Native Americans] grant, Keiki O Ka Aina has built an outdoor classroom to educate families and keiki about the method, value and cultural significance of native Hawaiian plants. The vision is for families to get hands on experience with planting native plants so that they can bring back that knowledge into their own homes and yards perpetuating cultural values and traditions. We hope that every community eventually has their own native garden to learn from!
Shortly after the Extreme Makeover | Home Edition rebuild of the Keiki O Ka Aina facilities, planting of more than 1000 native Hawaiian plants began on the property.
As an educational activity, families and community members were invited to a series of planting days that were organized to physically create the outdoor classroom.
Sharing fresh cut sugar cane
Planting included banana, plumeria, kukui, ilima, pikake, puakenikeni, ginger, palapalai, laua'e, Hawaiian and Polynesian gardenia, tiare, lehua, hala, ohai ali'i, a'a'ali'i, olena, aloe and sweet potatoes. The planting will continue in phases with many more native plants, ferns, fruit and flower bearing trees, and medicinal plants.
The outdoor classroom will be outfitted with an electronic sprinkler system and properly landscaped for drainage and runoff.
Learning how to use trimmings to grow u'ala at home.
After the plants have been able to mature, a new phase of education will take place including the care for the many plants on the property, how to use the medicinal plants and lei making classes to make leis from all the flowering trees.