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La Ho‘oulu Paemoku/Retree Hawaii announces October statewide tree planting initiative

By Staff | Aug 20, 2020

Andy Fox plants a tree. PHOTO BY ANANDA STONE.

WEST MAUI – Individuals, organizations and counties will plant trees and other plants across the state on Oct. 30, 2020. The goal is to activate the planting of 100,000 trees with 10,000 volunteers on 1,000 sites in an effort to reduce the effects of climate change and beautify our islands.

Rob Weltman, president of the Maui Sierra Club, spearheaded the effort earlier this year, stating, “Planting trees is one of the most effective actions ordinary citizens can take to mitigate climate change, and it will provide many additional benefits for Maui County.”

Weltman recognized the urgency of the climate crisis particularly facing island environments such as Hawaii, with rising sea levels and extreme weather events.

Other organizations see this initiative as one of major importance. Common Ground Collective President Ananda Stone commented, “As an island community, we are particularly vulnerable to climate change, and we’re already experiencing effects from it. Since trees offer so many ecosystem services, like protecting watersheds, filtering pollutants, enhancing biodiversity, all while sequestering carbon, we should absolutely be planting trees.”

Andy Fox, with Friends of Haleakala, believes, “There has never been a more urgent time to invest in island resilience and adaptation.”

Many groups in Hawaii are joining the effort, with 33 organizations signed up already to provide planting sites, and 55 supporting organizations.

Participating organizations and West Maui planting sites include the Coral Reef Alliance (Wahikuli Restoration Site), Hui Ho’okuleana Honua (Lahainaluna High School), Maui Cultural Lands (Honokowai Valley), Napili Community Garden (Napili Community Garden) and Princess Nahienaena Elementary School (Jerose’s Home).

To register a site for planting, or to volunteer, go to retree-hawaii.org/planting. An interactive map of all registered sites is provided. Clicking on any map pin describes each site, what they are planting, and lists their volunteer needs. Anyone can sign up their site, participate as an individual planter or volunteer for one of the registered sites on the website.

Due to COVID-19, organizers are encouraging everyone to plant trees and gardens, and then register their planting until Oct. 30 to be entered in the statewide count.

For questions, contact Weltman at (808) 354-0490 or info@retree-hawaii.org.