The Maui Huliau Foundation is hosting its 2016 Huliau Summer Eco-Adventure July 12-15. Those attending the four-day eco-adventure will explore Maui’s diverse natural environments including rain-forests, wetlands and marine ecosystems.
The Huliau Eco-Adventure is a hands-on introduction to environmental studies program for students entering grades 7-9. The location of the program will be different each day as students engage in a variety of learning experiences through group explorations of Maui’s unique environments. Activities include hiking, swimming, fishpond restoration, farm activities, bird watching, film-making, a visit to Maui Ocean Center and more.
The program is planned and led by Huliau alumni in collaboration with their staff, a high school leadership team, and experts in various environmental fields. As with all Huliau programs, need-based scholarships are offered, making this program affordable for all Maui youth.
In 2013, seven Huliau students from various high schools participated in the “Maui Eat Local Project,” a Maui Huliau program planned by students in which they attempted to eat only 100% locally grown food while making a film about their journey.
In July 2015, two alumni of this program, Hiʻilei Casco and Hannah Shipman, now studying environmental science in college, wanted to create a similar sustainable living experience for local high school students centered around eating locally and zero waste practices. They also expanded the program to cover local environmental issues beyond agriculture; nine high school students participated in that intensive 4-day overnight program, which was called the Huliau Environmental Leadership Camp.
This year, those same alumni – assisted by some of our high school leadership students — will be creating a 4-day camp for up to 36 middle school students.
“We are thrilled to continue to build leadership among our students and alumni, and we are honored that they wish to give back to their community in this way,” said Malia Cahill, Executive Director of Maui Huliau Foundation. “This is an alumni-led tradition that we hope to continue each summer as our Huliau ʻohana grows.”
Casco, who graduated from Kamehameha and now studies Environmental Science at Cornell University, said as an Huliau alumni, it is so inspiring and humbling to see the original projects flourish into full programs that are inclusive, creative, and enlightening for so many students. “My personal goals for these programs have been far surpassed by the constant curiosity these kids bring to the table,” Casco said. “They ask questions we don’t even think of. Together we learn new methods to understand our natural areas, and our diversity motivates so many original and ingenious environmental solutions.”
Shipman, who graduated from Seabury and now studies Environmental Science at University of Kent in the UK, said she has always been passionate about the environment and has continued to engross herself in environmental studies as she has grown into an adult. “These programs I have co-lead over the last couple of years gives me the opportunity to help students learn, cherish, and enjoy the environment,” Shipman said. “It gives them a chance to understand how and why things are the way they are. It sparks a light in them to make a difference and that is an amazing thing to experience. Watching them learn, process, and love learning inspires me to want to continue to influence students in a positive way.”
The 2016 4-day program runs from 8:30am to 4pm; the cost is $100 and need-based scholarships are available. The application deadline is July 1.
In addition, the Huliau Foundation will be having a second showing of the Huliau Youth Environmental Film Festival on Thursday, June 30.
For more information, contact Executive Director Malia Cahill at 808-757-2100 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of Maui Huliau Foundation