Honolulu Community College receives $25,000 grant

Grant from Office of Hawaiian Affairs to support mala (garden) project

Honolulu Community College
Posted: Mar 10, 2011

Honolulu Community College is pleased to announce that its māla (garden) project recently received a grant of $25,000 from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
“The focus for this project is to plant Hawaiian varieties of kalo (taro) in a dry land māla in order to increase the places of seed back for kalo in Hawai‘i. It will serve as an educational platform to teach students using a traditional Native Hawaiian holistic approach," said Mark Alapaki Luke, Honolulu CC Hawaiian studies instructor and project coordinator. "We are grateful to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for their support of this historical and educational endeavor.” 
The historical land use of the Honolulu Community College campus is thoroughly documented in the Land Court Awards and old maps of the Kalihi-Kapālama area. The campus area alone was home to 45 documented lo‘i (taro patches), fed by Niuhelewai Stream and two springs, all of which were diverted and filled in after 1900. The idea of the project is to return a small portion to Hāloanakalaukapalili (first kalo, ancestor) to this ‘aina (land), blending the old with the new with the understanding of mālama ‘āina, or caring for the land.
With the expertise of Makanani Attwood of Kaho‘olawe and Ron Johnson from Kahana, two Native Hawaiian agricultural practitioners, Honolulu CC will begin the māla project on Friday, March 11, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. The māla will be located on campus behind the Keiki Hau‘oli Children's Center. The ceremony will include an oli and pule, followed by the symbolic kalo (taro) and kī (ti-leaf) planting nearby the māla. In the following weeks construction on a short retaining wall will be built. Honolulu CC faculty, staff and students will be instrumental in the creation and care of the māla.