Native Habitat Project Calls for Tree Planting Volunteers This Saturday in Kula
Skyline Conservation Initiative is seeking volunteers for a tree planting project this Saturday, Dec. 21 in Kula. The group will plant 500 native trees, plants and ferns over a two hour period beginning at 1 p.m. along Pōhakuokalā Gulch.
The Pōhakuokalā Gulch Community Forest Restoration Project received funding from the county of Maui and the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority to clear sections of Haleakalā Ranch of invasive eucalyptus trees. The weekend event will replant the area with native vegetation that will be 100% montane mesic native forest.
Volunteers will be planting a diverse mix of native species including koa, ʻōhi‘a, ‘iliahi, ʻaʻaliʻi and other native trees and shrubs.
Snacks and drinking water will be provided, but volunteers must bring a reusable water bottle and wear closed-toe shoes. Registration starts at 12:30 p.m. and the planting concludes at 3 p.m.
“The Hawaiian Islands are home to the greatest diversity of endemic plant species that don’t grow anywhere else in the world,” said SCI Program Manager Joseph Imhoff. “Two-thirds of these plants have gone extinct already. It is critical to save what is left of our fragile native ecosystems, and replanting habitats like this one is a big part of the solution.”
Interested individuals and groups can sign up by emailing Program Manager Joe Imhoff at [email protected]
A charitable program of Nā Koa Manu Conservation, SCI has been restoring native habitat in the area for nearly 18 years as part of the Pōhakuokalā Gulch Community Forest Restoration Project.
The project began in 2002, when Skyline Eco Adventures opened up the first zipline tour in the US on Haleakalā Ranch and began planting koa trees. Since then, a diverse mix of 7,000 native plants and shrubs have been established, and now visitors and residents can experience a true Hawaiian habitat that has been lost in most developed areas on Maui.
In 2017, Skyline Conservation Initiative became a program of Nā Koa Manu Conservation and has received funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service/Soil and Water Conservation District/USDA, County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, and Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority as well as many private donors locally and globally.
“It is amazing to see this restoration project grow into a significant native habitat,” said Skyline Hawaiʻi’s President Danny Boren. “It serves as an outdoor classroom and more than 3,500 volunteers have contributed to its creation and ongoing maintenance.”