Booth Events

Waiʻanae Coast Disaster Readiness Fair 2017

Waiʻanae Coast Disaster Readiness Fair booths.

Waiʻanae Coast Disaster Readiness Fair booths.

HWMO was invited by Waiʻanae Coast Disaster Preparedness Team to set-up an outreach booth at this year’s Waiʻanae Coast Disaster Readiness Fair at the Waiʻanae Mall. The June 3rd event hosted a variety of different wildfire readiness organizations, some of whom also held workshops. We spoke to many different residents from across the Waiʻanae region and handed out Ready Set Go!, Wildfire Lookout!, and Firewise Communities materials to educate people on wildfire readiness. Some visitors also shared their close encounters with wildfires.

Throughout the day, strong trade winds kept us all on high alert, not only because fire danger is greater when they are blowing, but also because our handouts and outreach materials were at risk of blowing away. Indeed, at the tail end of the event, our tent was no match for the winds and tipped over, knocking out flyers over. Thankfully, emergency responders were all over the place and were quick to collect the materials speedily and in coordinated fashion. A small testament to why we love being a part of the emergency management field!

Waianae Coast Disaster Readiness Fair 6/3/17

HWMO's Beach Party for Wildfire Awareness

Hawaii Island Seed Bank, Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance, and Big Island Invasive Species Committee joined HWMO in setting up information booths at the event. Credit: DLNR

Hawaii Island Seed Bank, Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance, and Big Island Invasive Species Committee joined HWMO in setting up information booths at the event. Credit: DLNR

For this year’s National Community Wildfire Preparedness Day, on May 6, HWMO thew a Beach Party to raise awareness on wildfires and their impacts on our lands, water, and communities. The Beach Party for Wildfire Awareness was held at the Old Kona Airport at the first beach pavilion. We had a number of fun classes, presentations, and activities for keiki. 

Classes included two yoga classes, a morning session with Chelsea Morriss of Soul Happy Wellness, and an afternoon one with Rachel Forsberg. HWMO’s very own Melissa Kunz taught a swing dance class that kept the hype up in the morning. There was also a kids capoeira class held by Mario Hill from Capoeira Agua de Beber - UCA Hawaii. Most of the kids that participated were completely new to the Brazilian martial art / dance. Following the class, a group of capoeiristas from various parts of the island joined in for a capoeira and samba drum performance.

Melissa Kunz teaching a swing dance class.

Melissa Kunz teaching a swing dance class.

Capoeira workshop and performances thanks to Capoeira Agua de Beber - UCA Hawaii and friends.

Capoeira workshop and performances thanks to Capoeira Agua de Beber - UCA Hawaii and friends.

Yoga with Rachel Forsberg.

Yoga with Rachel Forsberg.

Morning yoga with Chelsea Morriss.

Morning yoga with Chelsea Morriss.

Several presentations were held in the pavilion that exposed visitors to different partners of HWMO that are doing amazing work to restore our native forests and protect our watersheds. Hawaii Island Seed Bank, Big Island Invasive Species Committee, and Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance shared about their organizations to audiences of various age levels. Those same organizations also set-up information booths, which attracted many visitors, as well. 

Chief Eric Moller speaking about the importance of fire prevention during the Wildfire Lookout! launch event.

Chief Eric Moller speaking about the importance of fire prevention during the Wildfire Lookout! launch event.

A major highlight of the event was a press conference to launch the statewide wildfire campaign called Wildfire Lookout! Speakers included State Representative Cindy Evans and Chief Eric Moller of U.S. Army-Garrison, Fire & Emergency Services who both stressed the importance of fire prevention to protect our islands. Executive Director of HWMO, Elizabeth Pickett, also spoke to the visitors of the event on the importance of preparing far in advance of peak fire season. DLNR Senior Communications Director, Dan Dennison, flew from Oahu to film the press conference, as well as other activities at the start of the day. You can watch the video here:

HWMO’s crafty project assistant, Tom Loomis, set-up a few fun games for keiki including a mini golf course, home defensible space ring toss, and pachinko board to win HWMO prizes. Hawaii Fire Department brought a fire truck for kids to explore and Big Island Goat Dozers brought a goat for kids to pet. 

Wildland firefighter dress up and HFD fire engine exploring.

Wildland firefighter dress up and HFD fire engine exploring.

Various activities for keiki including mini golf.

Various activities for keiki including mini golf.

Flyer for Party for Wildfire Awareness

Flyer for Party for Wildfire Awareness

Visitors had a chance to grind on some ono food from Just the Two of Us Chicken and Waffles and Cool Runnings Food Truck. The Selassie Ites wrapped up the event with a jammin' reggae performance.

A series of door prizes were also awarded throughout the day thanks to our list of generous sponsors: Foster’s Kitchen, Daylight Mind Coffee Company, Kona Haven Coffee, Capoeira Agua de Beber, Soul Happy Wellness, The Original Donkey Balls Store, and Hawaii Water Service Company

A big mahalo to these sponsors as well as everyone else mentioned above who made the event possible, including our volunteers, staff, and board members!

Beach Party for Wildfire Awareness 5/6/17

People's Climate Movement in Kona

HWMO's Pablo Beimler at the HWMO outreach booth. Credit - Val Barnes

HWMO's Pablo Beimler at the HWMO outreach booth. Credit - Val Barnes

Climate change has already changed the Hawaiian Islands and will continue to do so in the future. It will take all of us to connect the dots and come together for adapting our communities for what lies ahead. One such climate change impact is the increase in conditions ripe for wildfires in Hawaiʻi. To help build this awareness, HWMO joined as one of many information booths at the People’s Climate Movement in Kailua-Kona organized by Rally for Common Ground. Hundreds of people from all walks of life joined the event, which kicked off with a march through downtown Kona.

At HWMO’s booth, following the march, we distributed our new “Climate Change Impacts on Wildfires in Hawaiʻi” flyers, as well as Ready Set Go! and Wildfire Lookout! materials. The overall positive atmosphere gave us hope that our island could come together to tackle challenging climate issues such as wildfire. 

Peoples Climate Movement Kona 4/29/17

PTA Earth Day

We had a great time hanging out with our partners from U.S. Army-Garrison Fire & Emergency Services and keiki from around the island.

We had a great time hanging out with our partners from U.S. Army-Garrison Fire & Emergency Services and keiki from around the island.

U.S. Army-Garrison, Fire and Emergency Services (US-AG, FES) has been a long-time partner of HWMO and has assisted on many of the largest fires the state has seen, including the Mauna Kea Fire in 2010. On April 20th, in celebration of Earth Day, Pōhakuloa Training Area (PTA) played host to several conservation and technology partners, including HWMO.

Busloads of students from around the island were dropped off to explore the various exhibitions. HWMO was situated next to the Army firefighters and their trucks. Keiki had a blast using water hoses as target practice and dressed up in HWMO’s wildland fire gear to take home Polaroid photos of themselves in it. HWMO also shared about the importance of planting natives around homes, certainly a worthy project to tackle on Earth Day!

PTA Earth Day 4/20/17

Waimea Outdoor Circle Spring Plant Sale

Each spring, the Waimea Outdoor Circle, whose staff and volunteers help maintain the beautiful nature park, Ulu Laʻau, located next to the Canada-Hawaii-France telescope headquarters in Waimea, holds a plant sale at the park. HWMO was invited this year to join the WOC for the festivities on April 8. HWMO’s neighbors at the event from Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC) were highlighting their Plant Pono program. Together, our two organizations emphasized the importance of planting native and adapted plants around the home that are not invasive. 

Oahu Urban Garden Center Second Saturday

Whether you are growing plants around your home for aesthetic reasons, to restore natives, or to feed your family, the principles of Firewise landscaping are always the same: reduce the horizontal and vertical continuity of vegetation, remove dead and dying plants and plant matter, and keep plants green year round. HWMO shared these tips and more, including Ready, Set, Go! Wildland Fire Action Guides and Wildfire & Drought Look Out! flyers with Oahu residents at the Second Saturday Rose Sale at the University of Hawaii CTAHR Urban Garden Center on February 11th. Although we made some great connections at the event with people from all over the island, including representatives from Wahiawa Senior Center, Aloha Arborist Association, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, a powerful storm cut our time short. 

Making sure our booths do not float away.

Our outreach booth was no match for the downpour and flooding that overtook our spot at the Garden Center in the usually drier Pearl City area. However, the rain-soaked event just goes to show that even on rainy days, HWMO is still willing and able to share the importance of wildfire prevention and readiness! Mahalo UH CTAHR for the invite to set-up a booth!

Oahu Urban Garden Center Second Saturday 2/11/17

Wiliwili Festival 2017

Young artist creates a beautiful "Prevent Fires to Keep Ocean Clean" sign.

In the first big event of 2017, HWMO joined a number of other organizations in hosting an informational booth at the Wiliwili Festival, usually held in September. The festival, put on by long-time HWMO partner Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative, was delayed until January due to an unusually late bloom for the storied wiliwili trees of Waikoloa. Throughout the day, serene live music filled the air as hundreds upon hundreds of visitors of all ages strolled through the Waikoloa Stables to learn about conserving natural resources and protecting our forests and watersheds.

HWMO introduced a brand new booth layout in conjunction with Pacific Fire Exchange (PFX) and the Waikoloa Village Fire Management Action Committee. With many helping hands, HWMO held several fun activities for keiki: wildfire prevention sign making and a new game called "Building and Testing a Strong Fire Adapted Community." The game attracted young builders and creative minds who constructed bridges or buildings out of craft sticks and binder clips. In order to receive a set of building materials, the young builders had to answer a series of scavenger hunt questions all related to information at our booth (including who is the owl you see all over our booth? - answer: Kaleo the Pueo). Once the keiki built their structures, none identical to the other, they had to carefully place hot embers (secret revealed: heavy river stones painted with fiery colors) on the structures to test their strength. Each craft stick had an important contributor of a Fire Adapted Community labeled on it. In the end, we were amazed by the strength of the Fire Adapted Community structures created. All of them withstood the ember attacks!

A big mahalo to Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative for the opportunity to share information about wildfire prevention and preparedness with the community, including during a one-hour workshop in the afternoon. Find out more about the great work WDFI does in the community here:

Wiliwili Festival 1/28/17

Ewa Beach Emergency Prep Fair 2016

A day after HWMO’s Pablo Beimler met with Kamaile Academy students for wildfire lessons, he headed over to Ewa Makai Middle School for the Ewa Beach Emergency Preparedness Fair on September 10th. With over 1,000 attendees interested in emergency preparation tips, the venue was the perfect place for HWMO to set-up an outreach booth and share Ready, Set, Go! Guides, Native Firewise Plant bookmarks, and more. Keiki who stopped by had the opportunity to dress up as wildland firefighters and take home a special Polaroid photo of the moment. 

A family stops by for Ready Set Go! information and wildland firefighter photo shoot.

Taking home a Polaroid of herself in wildland firefighter gear.

Mahalo to Ewa EPC for inviting us for the second straight year! Always a worthwhile event.

Ewa Beach Emergency Prep Fair 9/10/16

BioBlitz Cultural Festival 2016

For the second year in a row, HWMO traveled to Volcano National Park to set-up an outreach booth for the BioBlitz Cultural Festival on August 27th. The weather could not have been any better with a beautiful sunny morning with light mist in the afternoon. While groups of keiki joined scientists in the field to inventory native species in the park, visitors from all over the islands and the world listened to great live music, watched beautiful and powerful hula performances, and stopped by the many different outreach and cultural tents on the Visitor Center lawn. 

Pablo Beimler presents a copy of the Ready, Set, Go! Wildland Action Guide to a visiting resident.

Keiki Wildland Firefighter protects hale from wildfire.

HWMO drew at least two hundred curious visitors, interested in learning about the latest in wildfire news and preparedness tips. Keiki learned about the fire triangle and various Firewise native plants that they could hold and get to know better. Some even became wildland firefighters for the day, dressing up in real firefighting gear and taking home a Polaroid photo to post on their fridge at home. 

Firefighters from American Samoa were also present at the festival, showing their versatile skill set by chanting and dancing for visitors.

BioBlitz Cultural Festival at Hawaii Volcanoes 8/27/16

HEEA Symposium

Environmental education, according to the U.S. EPA, is “a process that allows individuals to explore environmental issues, engage in problem solving, and take action to improve the environment. As a result, individuals develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues and have the skills to make informed and responsible decisions.”

HWMO's information booth was a hub for wildfire curricula information.

HWMO takes pride in the environmental education programs we share statewide, placing heavy emphasis on the “take action” part of the above definition. We hope through our educational programs that people are moved to action to become wildfire ready. 

Pablo Beimler, Community Outreach Coordinator for HWMO, flew to Oahu for the Hawaii Environmental Education Alliance (HEEA) Symposium on July 13th at the Hawaii Pacific University downtown campus at Aloha Tower in Honolulu. The symposium was a gathering place for environmental educators from across the islands to share lessons learned, support innovative teaching methods, and create new networks.

Presentation topics of interest included:

* Branding for Good: Lessons learned on branding as a non-profit, especially relevant for our organization.

* ARTSEED - A Honolulu Museum of Art program that integrates art and science in a real world context. Students’ artwork were featured in the new editions of the Oahu Botanical Field Guide.

HWMO poster board.

* MECO - Engaging with Local Government - A presentation by Kuhea Asiu who shared best practices for getting involved in the political process and how to “infiltrate” to increase environmental action.

* Inquiry-Based Field Science - HWMO’s former Planning Assistant, Ilene Grossman, shared about her new efforts of bringing science to the hands of keiki and the community. 

* Waimea’s own Seri Niimi-Burch shared success stories of Foodcorps from across the islands.

An environmental educator stops by to pick up Native Firewise Plant bookmarks.

Pablo held an informational booth with a poster board displaying the diverse environmental education methods HWMO uses to promote awareness and catalyze action among Hawaii residents and youth. He made great connections throughout the day and shared HWMO’s curricula with various educators. 

HEEA Symposium 7/13/16