Students began the day with a scenic one-mile hike toward Kahuku Point, stopping along the way to learn a bit about the history of the area. After arriving at the North Shore Community Land Trust “base camp,” and learning more about Oahu's threatened and endangered plants, students planted species indigenous to the island. These native plants, like the endangered sesbania tomentosa, will serve as a barrier to predators and encourage seabirds to nest in the area. To round out the experience, teams of students engaged in a bit of competitive weed pulling to remove invasives in the dunes at Kahuku Point, some of the very last intact coastal sand dunes on the island of Oahu.
This service learning trip is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). By participating in this impactful day near Kahuku Point, HTA students gave back to Oahu by creating quality habitats for rare and endangered seals, turtles, seabirds, bees and plants. “It’s a perfect marriage of experiences when students can learn by doing, give back in meaningful ways and have fun outside,” says trip sponsor Jessica dos Santos.
This project was made possible by a grant from Youth Service Hawaii and support from North Shore Community Land Trust, Turtle Bay Resort, NOAA, and Turtle Bay Foundation. Through this project, HTA students truly reflected the school’s vision of “embracing the challenges of today and the opportunities of tomorrow.”