Oʻahu and Maui - This Earth Day, April 22, 2015, the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (“HILT”) is pleased to announce that it has recently signed a Conservation Collaboration Agreement with Brigham Young University Hawaiʻi International Cultural Studies Department’s Cultural Anthropology Program on Oʻahu and another such Agreement with the Kihei Charter School’s High School on Maui. The parties to these Conservation Collaboration Agreements recognize that the State of Hawaiʻi’s natural environment is greatly threatened by development and other pressures, that young people have a major stake in what our future environment will be like, and that together the parties can better protect Hawaiʻi while furthering their respective land conservation and education missions.
“We applaud these schools for their leadership, generosity and understanding that the conservation tools used by the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, such as the perpetual Conservation Easement, can help ensure that Hawaiʻi’s environment will be protected for the lasting benefit of their students for generations to come,” said Ted Clement, HILT’s Executive Director. HILT signed its first Conservation Collaboration Agreement with the Kihei Charter School’s Middle School in April 2014.
The Conservation Collaboration Agreements recently signed each have three main components. HILT staff will provide educational presentations regarding land conservation to the students. HILT and the two schools will also collaborate on cleanups of HILT’s Maunawila Heiau Preserve on Oʻahu and HILT’s Waiheʻe Coastal Dunes & Wetlands Refuge on Maui. Finally, the students will work towards raising the necessary funds so that the students can become members of HILT, and get directly involved with the philanthropy necessary to support HILT’s land conservation work, through HILT’s Young Friends Membership Program. In an effort to expedite its time-sensitive land conservation work, HILT is reaching out to young people to join the cause, through its new Young Friends Membership Program, as young people have a major stake in the future of our environment. The new membership program offers an affordable annual membership level, the Waiheʻe Level, for young people 21 years or younger at $15 as opposed to the standard starting $25 Maunawila Level annual membership. Young Friends Members receive all of the same benefits as Maunawila Level members, which include HILT’s educational newsletter Umeke Kāʻeo, a member window cling, HILT’s e-news, and invitations to special events and other activities such as HILT’s free Talk Story on the Land environmental education series and community picnic.
"As a project-based learning school, Kihei Charter School is committed to involving students in issues important to the Maui community. This year, Mr. Corey Holmgreen's Field Ecology course partnered with the Hawaiian Island Land Trust and its Waihe'e Refuge to deepen students' understanding of conservation efforts on Maui. Students enrolled in this course immersed themselves in the land and culture, helping to create informed citizens who are equipped for active participation in future conservation efforts," said Megan Edgar, Kihei Charter School Site Administrator. Tēvita Ō Ka‘ili, Associate Professor and Chair of BYUH Intercultural Studies and World Languages Department said, “BYU Hawai‘i International Cultural Studies’ Cultural Anthropology Program is fortunate to participate in a conservation collaboration agreement with HILT. We enjoy our current partnership in preserving, restoring, and conserving Maunawila Heiau, an ancient Hawaiian sacred place of healing. Our partnership nurtures a symbiotic relationship for sharing and acting on knowledge and practices pertaining to conservation and culture. We look forward to many fruitful years of collaboration with HILT in caring for our honua, earth.”
About Hawaiian Islands Land Trust:
The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (“HILT”) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 2011 out of the merger of four local land trusts, and it is the first and only nationally accredited local land trust in Hawai‘i. Our mission is to protect the lands that will sustain us for current and future generations. Through private, voluntary land conservation, HILT has conserved over 17,500 acres to date, via perpetual Conservation Easements and Fee Simple Ownership, on a number of properties with various conservation values important to residents and visitors alike. We conserve lands that secure Hawai‘i’s long-term well-being, lands with scenic views, agricultural resources, wildlife habitats, water resource areas, cultural and historical sites, and outdoor recreation opportunities. To learn more, go to www.hilt.org
About Kihei Charter School:
Kihei Charter School is an innovative public charter school serving students in grades K-12. The school is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) school, which also focuses on 21st century skills and project-based learning. As students matriculate through high school, they are facilitated towards unique learning opportunities beyond the four walls of the school that include college courses through the Running Start Program, internships, and independent projects.
About Brigham Young University Hawaiʻi International Cultural Studies Department – Cultural Anthropology Program:
Under the umbrella of International Cultural Studies (ICS) Department, BYU Hawai‘i’s Cultural Anthropology Program provides students with a range of knowledge concerning cultural studies. Students start with the basics focusing on contemporary applications of cultural anthropology and then proceed to encounter topics ranging from Pacific Societies to Oceanic Prehistory to Current issues in Anthropology. While gaining this knowledge, students also obtain a thorough review of social and cultural theories that have informed anthropological inquiry.
Photo: Students of BYUH at Maunawila Heiau, O‘ahu. Courtesy of Tina Aiu.