Mahalo First Hawaiian Bank!
July 23, 2018
By: Stephanie Loui
School gardens need many hands to thrive and the ʻĀINA In Schools program is continuing to make connections with local partners and friends to help our gardens grow. This summer, with enormous support from First Hawaiian Bank’s Community Care service program, two ʻĀINA schools received major makeovers for the new school year.
On June 23rd, 2018, Waikiki Elementary received over 110 volunteers from First Hawaiian Bank, Hands in Helping Out (HIHO), the UH Master Gardener Program, and Iolani School. Volunteers helped to prune the school orchard, clear and aerate ʻĀINA garden beds, revitalize the compost system, and clear new ground. With the help of UH Master Gardeners, keiki had the opportunity to learn about invasive species with live samples and lessons on why invasive species control is so vital. First Hawaiian Bank helped to plant a tahitian lime tree in the orchard, which some of their own children will be able to care for as Waikiki Elementary students. At the end of the Garden Party, families enjoyed a picnic lunch in the garden to cap off a fun, productive, and active morning.
This month, July 7th, 2018, another branch of First Hawaiian Bank’s Community Care program convened in Waianae to support Kamaile Academy’s Garden Party. With over 100 adults and keiki in attendance, volunteers, along with Kamaile and ‘ĀINA In Schools staff, helped to plant a native garden border, clear new areas for cultivation, and prepare space for wauke and kalo planting. With the Waiʻanae sun for company, volunteers brought new life to the garden, ending in a much-appreciated BBQ in the school cafeteria (they even brought a shave ice machine!).
Earlier this year, First Hawaiian Bank helped to support Waialae Public Charter School during their Fall Garden Party. The Community Care program is a volunteer service program, launched in 2014, to connect employees with volunteer opportunities with local non-profits. A longtime partner of Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation, HIHO is a sustainable volunteerism non-profit whose continued support of ʻĀINA In Schools is a major contributor to the success of our Garden Parties. Mahalo to all of our partners and friends for helping our keiki and gardens to grow!