Foster-a-Plant Gives Seedlings a Home

Foster a plant keiki growing in volunteers backyardATA team leader Kanoa Nakamura knows that planting seeds takes time and patience. Newly planted seedlings need care like all young, and just the right amount of sunshine and water.

What began as a plant propagation project in Kanoa’s back yard blossomed this past spring into ATA’s Foster-a-Plant program. Community members can foster native trees and plants at home until they are ready to take root in the forest. All trees planted in Kuli`ou`ou Valley have passed government required inspection to assure the health of the forest.

“Planting and raising seedlings helps ensure access to the types of plants that are most needed on the Kuli`ou`ou Ridge Trail,” said Kanoa. “It also helps us to diversify the types of plants we are able to grow and reduce the costs of having to purchase hundreds of trees and plants at local nurseries. We can then redirect funds to other program expenses.”

So far, 31 of Kanoa’s native plants, ranging from Milo and Alahe`e trees to A`ali`i shrubs and Ilie`e groundcover, have been adopted by 16 community members. Volunteers fostering seedlings report the positive feeling that comes with nurturing a seedling into a young plant, ready for life in the forest of Kuli`uo`ou. “The immediate opportunity to form a connection between people and the plants they nurture inspires me,” said Kanoa.

Mahalo to Kanoa for sharing his passion for reforesting Hawaii watersheds with native trees and plants, and offering a fun way for people to stay connected to nature while contributing to the well-being of the community.