Kirsten Swanson

USGBC Hawaii took part in a Green Apple Day of Service event at Blanche Pope Elementary School.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, HHF Planners, Waimānalo community members, teachers and organizations gathered at Blanche Pope Elementary School (BPES) for Green Apple Day of Service 2016.

Started by the Center for Green Schools at USGBC in 2012, Green Apple Day activates hundreds of thousands of volunteers (individuals, companies and organizations) every year with the challenge of building greener environments in their schools and communities.

This year, HHF Planners partnered with BPES to further realize the school’s vision for its native and canoe plant cultural garden, or māla. BPES teachers, staff and administrators strive to perpetuate Hawaiian culture through lessons taught in the māla.

In collaboration with BPES teachers, staff and administrators, our team of passionate designers and planners developed four unique design projects: a live-shaded arbor learning space, the Lilikoi Hale; a gravel pathway to define learning zones; a pili grass planting bed; and improvements to the māla’s existing irrigation system to enhance student learning and overall well-being.

The leadership and mana‘o provided by Kumu Laurie Kahiapo, of Growing Pono Schools, and landscape designer Dr. Alberto Ricordi, of PBR Hawaii, was integral to the visioning for the entire project. The outpouring of community participation and support, as evident through the 200+ volunteers, ranging from keiki to kūpuna, personified the Hawaiian proverb of "A‘ohe hana nui ke alu ‘I," (no task is too big when done together by all), and is a true testament to the aloha of Waimānalo.

A big mahalo to our community partners and sponsors, who made this year’s Green Apple Day of Service truly one to remember:

  • USGBC Hawaii
  • Blue Zones Project® Ko‘olaupoko
  • Ultimate Innovations
  • Cole-Brooks Construction
  • Growing Pono Schools
  • Pā Ola Hawai‘i
  • Ke Ola Mamo
  • Waimānalo Co-op Market
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Waimānalo