Learning Journey: Ho’ala School Peace Gardens – Aquaponics with Aloha! August 28
- Posted on 29 Aug 2013
- In Stories of Place
Wahiawa, O’ahu —
By Micah Rabang and Sarah Balmilero. As the morning school bell rang, the hall of Ho’ala School, located in Wahiawa on the island of O’ahu, filled with the voices of excited children in anticipation. Today was the day they would begin building the Ho’ala School Peace Garden, working side by side with visiting crew members of Hōkūleʻa. Thanks to Maggie Pulver, the Science and Service Learning teacher, also a Hōkūleʻa crewmember-in-training, funds were secured from the HaSTA Chevron grants for the school to build this innovative and sustainable peace garden, which will eventually produce edible, medicinal, and plants for the school as well as the crew of the Hōkūleʻa.
Unable to life cinder blocks and fish tanks, the younger students worked to replant koa tree saplings that were started from seeds the students collected in the summer of 2012 during the school’s Camp Kokua program, a two-week service learning camp. The trees are intended to help offset the carbon footprint of the World Wide Voyage. These tiny koas, although small and individual now, will be used as powerful gifts of peace in the months to come.
After the construction of the garden beds and re-potting of the koa trees, middle and high school students met with crew members Ryan and Captain Kamaki of the Hōkūleʻa and “talked-story” for a little while. The students asked questions about things ranging from life aboard Hōkūleʻa and her upcoming journey ahead, to the types of animals seen out at sea. One student even asked which animals the crew members preferred. Dolphins were among the winners.
As the school day was coming to a close, the buzz among the students around the day’s events were not. The talk was all garden, koas, and the upcoming learning journey to visit Hōkūleʻa the following day. The lives of Ho’ala students were significantly impacted by the day’s experience. You could feel it. The excitement of tomorrow waiting just over the horizon…