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Contact: Polly Angelakis, 808-572-4450
During February, a total of 225 students in the fourth through eighth grades from the Montessori School, Seabury Hall, Kamehameha Schools, and Kalama Intermediate School planted 317 federally threatened `āhinahina (silverswords) at the summit of Haleakalā as part of the Centennial celebrations of both Haleakalā National Park and the National Park Service.
The 317 silversword "keiki" will augment at-risk populations. Students also participated in ranger-led hikes and activities about the park's natural, cultural, and geologic resources.
"I can't think of a better way for Maui youth to learn to malama `āina and protect the unique natural heritage of Hawai`i for future generations," said park superintendent Natalie Gates. Haleakalā `āhinahina are only found at the summit of Haleakalā.
In March, students from Carden Academy, Haleakalā Waldorf School, and Montessori Hale O Keiki will engage in this hands-on stewardship.
2016 marks the Centennials of both Haleakalā National Park and the National Park Service. The theme of the park Centennial is "Gifts from Our Elders." A one-day cultural festival set for July 30 is in the very early planning stages. The park has also partnered with the Maui Arts and Cultural Center for their August 28th-October 23rd art exhibit, "Hawai`i National Parks 2016 Centennial." For more information about the art exhibit please go to http://mauiarts.org/exhibit-detail.php?id=87. Details and updates about park events will be posted online and via park press releases.