ʻImi Pono no ka ʻĀina
Kahuapono Student Enrichment Program
The Kahuapono Student Enrichment Program engages students grades 6-12 in ʻāina-based learning through hands-on restoration work. The program takes students to natural areas across Hawaiʻi Island to learn about Hawaiʻi’s unique plants, animals, and ecosystems. Students leave with a sense of place and responsibility to care for our island home.
We continue to go with the flow and meet the challenges that COVID-19 has brought to our programming. Currently, we are focusing on offering programs for our returnee students who have already completed our summer program. We hope to return to offering summer programming for new students in 2022. We will share more details here as they become available.
Kahuapono is a name layered with many meanings…
Hua can mean fruit or seed. In this program, many hua, or seeds are planted. Students plant native seedlings contributing to the restoration of our native forests and watersheds. The experiences students have during this program plant seeds of curiosity within them. The incredibly special places we visit plant seeds of desire to learn more about our unique island home. On another level, these hua contribute to each student’s kahua, or foundation, firmly rooted in Hawaiʻi Island. We hope that this strong foundation in aloha ʻāina will be carried with every student no matter what their future holds.
I pa‘a pono ka hua, a kupu, a lau, a loa, a a‘a, a mu‘o, a hua hou a‘ela nō!
May the seed be planted firmly, so that it may sprout, unfold, expand, dig deep, bud forth, and realize fruition!
Like outdoor adventures? Want to help our ‘āina and have fun at the same time? Then sign up for two weeks that could change your life!
- Open to students in grades 6-12
- Two week program runs Monday-Friday and includes camping trips
- Travel to unique natural areas across Hawai‘i Island
- Meet with natural resource managers, research scientists, and cultural practitioners
- Engage in hands-on activities, service projects, and observation and reflection activities
- Immerse yourself in Hawai‘i lifeways and cultural practices
- Learn about and appreciate the natural history of our Hawaiian ecosystems
- Leave with a sense of place and responsibility to care for our island home
- Program is FREE of charge!
*Program is based out of Hilo
“ʻImi Pono no ka ʻĀina has truly changed my life. I have a different mindset on wildlife, a new connection with my culture, and the need and inspiration to keep preserving the ʻāina.”
“We saw an iʻiwi which I felt was a sign of thanks. I believe my impacts will benefit the land greatly. It may not be a whole lot individually but when everyone pitches in it is great to see the outcome. In a hundred years there will be forest everywhere.”
After participating in the summer Kahuapono program, students are eligible to participate in returnee programs. These programs are designed to strengthen and expand on the concepts that were learned in the summer program. Programs are held every Fall and Spring Break. Each returnee program focuses on a different theme. Past themes have included:
- Ko Kaʻū Kapakai: A Coastline walk of Kaʻū
- Lāʻau Hawaiʻi: Hawaiian Plants and Their Uses
- Ola ka ʻŌhiʻa
- Kīpuka Connections
“I love my island more than ever now and I wonʻt stop fighting for this place.”
– Luka Akiba-Hajim