Waimea Middle School - Student Leadership Day Wildfire Lessons

Tom Loomis reads off a plant card for the student judges - in the front of the picture are the plants we asked them to categorize as "good", "so-so", or "bad" Firewise plants.

HWMO's Tom Loomis and Pablo Beimler joined various other companies/organizations as classroom visitors for this year's Student Leadership Day at Waimea Middle School on June 2nd. Mr. Loomis and Mr. Beimler called one of the classrooms home for a couple of hours, meeting with students to talk about wildfire prevention and preparedness.

For each of four 25-minute classes, Mr. Beimler started with a presentation with plenty of colorful photos and Kaleo the Pueo drawings to illustrate the wildfire issue in Hawaii and what students could do around the home to reduce fire hazards. 

Mr. Loomis followed with a Firewise Plant Game Show, calling upon volunteers to act as judges who would have to come to a consensus and reveal their answers about whether a given plant was a "good", "so-so", or "bad" Firewise plant. One student was chosen to be the "Vanna White" of the show, carrying around a potted plant to each classmate to let them get a good feel for the plant before deciding whether the plant would go into a Firewise garden. 

We showcased a variety of plants including "happy face" plants like ʻaʻaliʻi, koa, and ʻilima oʻahu; "neutral face" plants like dill and ʻawa; and "sad face" plants like eucalyptus, pepper trees, and pili grass.

We were able to recruit a whole new class of "future landscape designers" from such a short period of time!