Green Apple Day of Service installs cultural garden at Blanche Pope Elementary School
By: Erin Higa
Waimanalo community members, teachers, and organizations gathered at Blanche Pope Elementary School on Saturday, September 24 for Green Apple Day of Service 2016. Started by the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Center for Green Schools in 2012, Green Apple Day activates hundreds of thousands of volunteers every year with the challenge of building greener environments in their schools and communities.
This year, HHF partnered with Blanche Pope Elementary School to further realize the school’s vision for its native and canoe plant cultural garden, or mala. Blanche Pope Elementary School teachers, staff and administrators strive to perpetuate Hawaiian culture through lessons taught in the mala.
HHF Landscape Designer Angelica Rockquemore led a team of passionate designers and planners to develop four unique design projects including a live-shaded arbor learning space, the Lilikoi Hale; a gravel pathway to define learning zones; pili grass planting bed; and improvements to the mala’s existing irrigation system to enhance student learning and overall well-being.
The leadership and mana‘o provided by Kumu Laurie Kahiapo of Growing Pono Schools and Landscape Designer Dr. Alberto Ricordi of PBR Hawaii was integral to realize the vision for the entire project. The outpouring of community participation and support, as evident through more than 200 volunteers ranging from keiki to kupuna, personified the Hawaiian proverb of ‘A‘ohehananuikealu ‘I, no task is too big when done together by all, and was a true testament to the aloha of Waimanalo.
Sponsors Blue Zones Project® Ko‘olaupoko, Ultimate Innovations, Cole-Brooks Construction, Growing Pono Schools, Pa Ola Hawai‘I, Ke Ola Mamo, Waimānalo Co-op Market and the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Waimanalo were instrumental in making the garden a reality. If you would like to take part in Green Apple Day of Service in Hawai‘i, it’s not too late. There will be two more projects at UH Laboratory School (October 29) and Halau Ku Mana Public Charter School (November 5). Go to the Green Apple Day of Service event page at www.usgbchawaii.org to get involved.