students on a field trip at Lyon Arboretum
Richard Sears instructing students from Barber’s Point Elementary.

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Lyon Arboretum’s education department will be able to continue supporting low-income public school students, thanks to a grant from the Garden Club of Honolulu. The 2019 funding helps subsidize the Lyon Field Trip Kōkua program by lowering the field trip fees.

In 2018, the Garden Club of Honolulu helped cover half of the entrance fee for 16 Title I schools that applied for the program. Title I provides federal funds to schools with high percentages of low-income students. The Garden Club of Honolulu increased the 2019 award to provide full fee waivers up to $500 for schools that apply. Schools must have Title I status and agree to fulfill requirements in order to receive the funding.

“The Garden Club of Honolulu has long been an invaluable supporter of Lyon Arboretum,” said Rakan Zahawi, arboretum director. “With these funds, we hope to support more students in 2019.”

Pālolo Elementary School teacher Suanne Kim and her students have visited the arboretum for the past five years. She tries to find ways to keep the costs down for her students and was grateful for the support her class received last September when another source of funding fell through.

“Lyon Arboretum provides an excellent opportunity for students to explore the similarities and differences between plants, plant parts and the unique experience of walking through the rainforest,” Kim said. “Our students from Pālolo Elementary are so fortunate to receive the admission subsidy from generous donors who know the importance and value of outdoor/hands-on education.”

School group tours are offered during the school year and nature day camps are held during fall and spring semesters and summer break. Teachers can find out more information on Lyon Arboretum’s website. The Education Department will take requests for field trip visitations and the Lyon Field Trip Kōkua program for Title I schools starting on July 29, 2019.