Ohia Legacy Initiative

March 2016

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click here for Ohia Legacy Initiative website

Awesome Oahu is thrilled to announce our March 2016 receipient of $1,000 awesome dollars to The Ohia Legacy Initiative (OLI).  John-Carl Watson of OLI submitted the entry to AWESOME and provided the following information.  OLI was founded to be a social catalyst and is a very small grassroots organization that hopes to bring about great change in our community. Their mission is to spread awareness about the ecological and cultural importance of native Hawaiian plants and forests by establishing the 'Ōhi'a tree as a common feature in both residential and public areas of Hawai'i.

Watson continues, basically, here in Hawaii there is a major disconnect with our native plants. Most people don't know anything about them, and are not aware of how important they are to the health of our unique ecosystems. The main purpose of The Urban Oahu Ohia Legacy Project is to grow Ohia (Metrosideros polymorpa) trees and give them away. These trees are a keystone species in our forests and were once found in areas ranging from the coast to the summits of our mountains. Additionally, the Ohia is a very significant and sacred tree in Hawaiian culture. It is used in hula, medicine, and mythology. However, with urban development, these awesome trees are now found only in the mountains. Even though the Ohia will happily grow at most Hawaii homes and businesses the vast majority of landscape plants are introduced ornamental plants with no natives! Their goal is to have 10,000 trees planted at homes, condos, hotels, and businesses throughout the city. The more people see native plants, the more likely they are to select them for their own homes and businesses.

Okay, now here is where AWESOME comes in.  Our $1,000 donation will be used to purchase materials to continue propagating ōhi'a trees, and to keep the website active. We are the first ones providing funding support, so it will also give OLI a track record for future grant opportunities.

Awesome Foundation Oahu is proud to promote native hawaiian species. An awesome check for an awesome plant.