Mālama ʻĀina Project: First Phase – sets roots for ecological restoration in Lahaina

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Mālama ‘Āina Project

The Mālama ʻĀina Project, spearheaded by nonprofit Akua Seva, announced its inaugural event on Friday, Dec. 15, at The Maui Animal Farm, 264 Haniu St, Lahaina, HI 96761. This community empowerment gathering marks the first phase of an ambitious mission to enrich and empower the Lahaina and Maui community through ecological restoration, sustainable land stewardship, and positive change.

The event aims to plant 70 trees, including ulu, kukui, and milo, as a symbolic gesture of rejuvenation and unity. Attendees will be graced with Hawaiian blessings and music from Grammy Award-winning George Kahumoku. After a practical demonstration of the  unique planting method, participants and volunteers will break out into groups to plant trees across the 4.5-acre property.

The Mālama ‘Āina Project’s primary goals are to heal, empower, and inspire the community while restoring proper ecology in the foothills above Lahaina. The project seeks to reduce the likelihood of wildfires and give back to the community.

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Akua Seva, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is spearheading the Mālama ‘Āina Project, with support from various partners, including George Purdy (fire prevention, agroforestry and dryland farming expert), George Kahumoku (farming and cultural advice), Valley Global (volunteers, relief services, logistics, financial), Maui Animal Farm (test and training site), Brew Hut (soil regeneration experts), ABA Classroom (advice, support, inspiration, volunteers), Prasad Soul Food (catering) and many others.

The Mālama ‘Āina Project’s key message is: “Together as a community, we can work for positive change. This event and similar projects are intended to inspire and teach others methods for restoring our landscape, invigorating and healing our community.”

The project acknowledges other groups efforts, saying there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to healing.

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The event kicks off with a Hawaiian blessing at 8 a.m. on Dec. 15, followed by instruction and planting. A light lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m., followed by an afternoon planting session from 3 to 6 p.m. Volunteers of all ages, tourists, and residents alike are welcome to participate.

For more information about the Mālama ‘Āina Project and to get involved, visit akuaseva.org or contact [email protected] or phone at 808-303-4559.

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