School Outreach Event

Ocean Warriors Wildfire Education at Puako

It’s all about making learning fun!

It’s all about making learning fun!

HWMO once again teamed up with Malama Kai Foundation’s Ocean Warriors program to educate middle school students about wildfire issues and solutions. The Ocean Warriors program is a youth environmental engagement and empowerment program that has kids become directly involved in projects, be a part of bigger solutions, raise money toward open space protection, and save vulnerable wild spaces, including those vulnerable to wildfire.

At Paniau Beach in Puako, the kids learned from HWMO staff (Elizabeth, Tom, Orlando, Melissa) the importance of preventing wildfire in order to protect the entire watershed from summit to sea.

Youth Prevent Wildfire Bookmark Contest 2018

Participants of the Hawaii Wildfire Summit voted on their favorite bookmarks based on three categories.

Participants of the Hawaii Wildfire Summit voted on their favorite bookmarks based on three categories.

As part of a way to celebrate the upcoming Hawaii Wildfire Summit and Wildfire Preparedness Day, HWMO met with middle school students from several schools and youth programs and had them participate in a youth "Prevent Wildfire" bookmark contest. Students represented Kamaile Academy, Kohala Middle and High School, Waikoloa Middle School, and the Malama Kai Foundation Ocean Warriors program. The artwork they produced conveyed several messages that they could choose from:

"Prevent wildfires to protect our ocean"
"Prevent wildfires to protect our forests"
"Prevent wildfires to protect our communities"

Students from Kamaile Academy in Waianae created their bookmarks during an HWMO school visit earlier in 2018.

Students from Kamaile Academy in Waianae created their bookmarks during an HWMO school visit earlier in 2018.

Ocean Warriors hard at work designing their creative prevent wildfire bookmarks.

Ocean Warriors hard at work designing their creative prevent wildfire bookmarks.

23 of the bookmark entries were selected by the HWMO staff to be voted on at the Hawaii Wildfire Summit on May 2 and 3. 

We are excited to announce the winners of the contest as determined by the many participants who took the time and thought to cast their ballots at the summit. 

 

Bookmark Contest Winners.jpg

Congratulations to our winners and mahalo to all of the youth participants in this year's art contest. Special thanks to Jameil Saez, STEM teacher at Kamaile Academy, and Elizabeth Pickett of the Malama Kai Foundation Ocean Warriors program.

Waikoloa Ocean Warriors Wildfire Education at Spencer Beach

It’s all about making learning fun!

It’s all about making learning fun!

HWMO once again teamed up with Malama Kai Foundation’s Ocean Warriors program to educate middle school students about wildfire issues and solutions. The Ocean Warriors program is a youth environmental engagement and empowerment program that has kids become directly involved in projects, be a part of bigger solutions, raise money toward open space protection, and save vulnerable wild spaces, including those vulnerable to wildfire. At Spencer Beach, the kids learned from HWMO staff the importance of preventing wildfire in order to protect the entire watershed from summit to sea. They then had the opportunity to turn their newfound knowledge into spoken word. HWMO’s Pablo Akira Beimler — Community Outreach Coordinator by day, slam poet by night — gave tips on how to write spoken word poetry, which the kids then turned into their own environmental poetry…and their poetry and performances did not disappoint! Such bright future artists and leaders!

Waikoloa Ocean Warriors Wildfire Education at Spencer Beach 4/21/18

PTA Earth Day 2018

It may have been freezing cold up in the saddle between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, but that didn’t stop HWMO and other organizations committed to protecting the environment from educating youth from all over the island. HWMO set up a booth at the Pohakuloa Training Area on April 20th to teach keiki of all ages about the mauka to makai (summit-to-sea) impacts of wildfire.

PTA Earth Day 4/20/18

Puuwaawaa Bio-Cultural Blitz 2018

Pablo Akira Beimler leads students through an activity to learn about the mauka to makai impacts of wildfire.

Pablo Akira Beimler leads students through an activity to learn about the mauka to makai impacts of wildfire.

Our dry forests are so critical to the health of our leeward areas in Hawaii. It’s no wonder that so many organizations working to protect the dry forests came together on March 9th at Puuwaawaa to outreach with hundreds of students. Puuwaawaa was formed over 110,000 years ago and is home to a rich diversity of native plants and animals — which are all at risk of devastating wildfires that have burned through the area before. HWMO held a booth to talk about the mauka to makai (summit-to-sea) impacts of wildfire with smiling and interested keiki from all over the island.


Puuwaawaa Bio-Cultural Blitz 2018


Kamaile Academy 7th Grade Classroom Activities

7th grade students making wildfire prevention bookmarks.

7th grade students making wildfire prevention bookmarks.

HWMO's Community Outreach Coordinator, Pablo Akira Beimler, traveled to the westside of Oahu to teach about wildfire impacts with 7th grade students of Kamaile Academy. The intelligent and enthusiastic students took part in an activity to place photos of wildfire impacts on a blown-up drawing of an island. They had to determine where those impacts would occur on the island, eventually filling up the island with impacts from summit to sea. Wildfires affect everything from mauka to makai. To put this newfound knowledge into action, the students created bookmarks with wildfire prevention messages. These bookmarks would eventually be voted on at the upcoming Hawaii Wildfire Summit in May. 

Mahalo Mr. Jameil Saez for having us share with your awesome students!

Kamaile Academy 7th Grade Classroom Activities 2/13/18

Wiliwili Festival 2018

HWMO having a blast with Ocean Warriors students while teaching wildfire preparedness lessons through the ReadySetGo! program.

HWMO having a blast with Ocean Warriors students while teaching wildfire preparedness lessons through the ReadySetGo! program.

A brushfire quickly grew into a large one during the Wiliwili Festival, most likely started by a lightning strike from several days ago.

A brushfire quickly grew into a large one during the Wiliwili Festival, most likely started by a lightning strike from several days ago.

This year's Wiliwili Festival was an eventful one (as it always is!) The festival, put on by our friends from Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative, hosted hundreds of residents and visitors who wanted to learn more about how to conserve the precious dry forests of Hawaii. HWMO set up an informational and activities booth. A group of Malama Kai Ocean Warriors students stopped by to join us for outreach help, while learning the ins and outs of the ReadySetGo! program. They also spent time creating beautiful works of art as part of a statewide wildfire prevention bookmark contest. Our booth was set-up in the workshop tent, so we also witnessed a number of great presenters from different organizations. Waikoloa Fire Management Action Committee's Wayne Awai presented on the village's Firewise efforts and successes. 

Ironically, during all of this wildfire outreach, a wildfire broke out only a few miles mauka of the event. The fire grew quickly, unfortunately burning through ohia forest. We must do everything we can to protect our precious native dry forests from the growing wildfire threat. Help do your part by learning how you can prevent fire: http://www.hawaiiwildfire.org/lookout

Wiliwili Festival 2018

Anuenue Playground Build Day Care Outreach

Credit: Big Island Video News

Credit: Big Island Video News

An amazing showing of community support made the headlines in Waimea this week. Over 600 community members came out, even through pouring rain, to help rebuild the Anuenue Playground. Already, parents and children are raving about the rebuilt community asset that will provide lasting memories for years to come. 

HWMO joined in on the effort by teaching wildfire prevention and preparedness at the day care center established for the playground build. Pablo Beimler, Community Outreach Coordinator, met with over a dozen smiling and enthusiastic young children who played several rounds of fire tag and dressed up as wildland firefighters on October 25. 

Thank you to Anuenue Playground for all you do for the community and for inviting us to take part as an event sponsor!

Banner photo credit: Big Island Video News

Na Kilo Aina Nohona

Keiki having fun dressing up as wildland firefighters at Na Kilo Aina Nohona.

Keiki having fun dressing up as wildland firefighters at Na Kilo Aina Nohona.

On October 12, HWMO staff members Elizabeth Pickett, Melissa Kunz, and Orlando Smith set-up a wildfire prevention activities table at Na Kilo Aina in Honokoa. Various other community organizations, agencies, and businesses joined in on the fun by hosting groups of keiki to learn about stewardship of the aina.

 “Na Kilo Aina practices place-base awareness that emphasizes pilina or relationships. This encompasses the holist interactions of our communities with our environment speaking to the wealth of our lands and waters as well as the wealth of our families and community members. In building and strengthening a community of observers we remember who we are through listening to our aina and activating all senses of kilo working towards Aina Momona: productive and thriving communities.” - Honokoa (Kailapa Community Association)

The event was hosted by Honokoa, a Firewise Community in Kawaihae. For the 5th year in a row, they held the camp which brought in dozens of bright-eyed participants. At HWMO’s table, keiki visited to learn about wildfire prevention measures they could take with their families. They also got to dress in real wildland fire gear to experience what it would be like to be a wildland firefighter. Keiki drew creative wildfire prevention signs, as well.

Since 2016, the community has been a certified Firewise Community with the help of HWMO. They have done an amazing job creating a culture of fire awareness in the community and have even taken large steps towards greater overall hazard resilience. For example, they are in the final stages of completing a large pavilion that can serve as an evacuation shelter during emergencies. 

Thank you Kailapa Community Association for inviting us to the camp and for all of your efforts this year in reducing wildfire risk!

Na Kilo Aina Nohona 10/12/17

Wildfire Lookout! Statewide School Distribution

In what may be one of HWMO’s most ambitious efforts, we set out to distribute as many Wildfire Lookout! flyers to as many schools as we could on the leeward sides of each of the major islands in Hawaiʻi. With boxes upon boxes of Wildfire Lookout! flyers stuffed into suitcases, HWMO’s Elizabeth Pickett and Pablo Beimler visited over 50 schools on Kauaʻi, Maui, Oʻahu, and Hawaiʻi Island from May 22-24 and distributed a total of nearly 25,000 flyers. Those flyers were included in students’ final take-home packets before the summer (and peak fire season) begun.

The outreach push was made possible thanks to Grant-In-Aid from the State and was another highlight of Wildfire Preparedness Month this year. Thank you to all of the schools’ staff for helping distribute flyers to students (some schools posted the flyers in the office, library, cafeteria, or other common spaces). 

Banner photo: Waimea Canyon school with recent wildfire-scarred area in background.

Wildfire Lookout! Statewide School Distribution May 2017