One of our most important project objectives is to convert the red mangrove-infested space next to the Niumalu Beach Park into a community learning center. To a large extent, this has already been achieved, with several schools partnering with Mālama Hulē‘ia to bring students into the field to learn in a hands-on way about their Hawaiian heritage, the history of the place, the value of mālama ‘aina, teamwork, as well as basic ecology.
We have a continuing partnership with Kawaikini Charter School, which is creatively using our Niumalu site for a variety of lessons. Rebecca Cate, who has been collaborating with Carl Berg, explains how they are doing this: “Kawaikini has been honored to be at Niumalu. Our students have learned so much about the area. On our last trip we had our High school students create 5 lessons plans – Hawaiian stories of Niumalu, plants in Niumalu, invasive plants for clean up, the rivers of Niumalu, and water testing to learn about brakish water. Our high school students taught the younger students, grades 2, 7 & 8 these lessons. We have plans to repeat these lessons with all our Elementary level students so our whole school (k-12) will have a foundation of Niumalu upon which to build in future years. Mahalo for all your help and for making these trips a success.”
In the near future, we also expect to have art students from Kapaa High School come to the site. They will help with signage and begin the process of remaking the Niumalu site into a place of culture and beauty.