Native Hawaiian Plant Landscape Project | Kapaau, Big Island | Ki’i (reflections) on Mālama ʻĀina

Creating a Native Hawaiian Urban Forest Network in my own yard. Restoring the rightful place of native plants in landscaping urban areas.

Halau’Ohi means to give and to receive. Native Hawaiian knowledge of sustainability is not just science; it is a sacred relationship. Restoring the urban forest to help “increase the redundancy, representation and resiliency of existing forests” also restores Native Hawaiian sustainability science that co-exists with ecological systems as beloved family members in which we are continuously dependent now, and into the future.

A planted, “mighty” Kukui Nut tree (photo, below), after construction of a new home. Chosen for this site as a windbreak (an ancient practice), this planting honors the sacrifice of the land as halau’ohi and emphasizes its regeneration after a disturbance.

Kou plantings (photo, below). This is another “canoe” species; Native Hawaiians used Kou flowers for lei and medicine but most importantly for its highly esteemed wood. This tree’s location was chosen for shade and cool shelter near the home.

Planting of native ‘Ilima papa (photo, below) replaces a pretty, but invasive Sphagneticola trilobata (the dark green ground cover being replaced by the ‘paler’ native species). Native Hawaiian culture is rooted in sustainability; the “science of aloha” reimagines natural resources as beloved family members and not commodities to support human consumption. Restoring ecological landscapes (with native species) because they literally make up our physical and spiritual being.

Milo (Thespesia populnea) planted for hedging and screening purposes — a living fence — being planted on the windy side of the property. Ki’i Akea (reflections of the universal). Native Hawaiians think of the environment intimately as a living, thinking and feeling people of the past, present and future.

Kealiikanakaoleohaililani, K. et al., (2018). Ritual + science? A portal into the science of aloha. Sustainability, 10(3478), 1–17. Retrieved from doi:10.3390/su10103478

Founder of the non-profit, Think Beyond the Pump. The group promotes a climate/public health warning label on all points of fossil purchase.

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