Boys & Girls Club of Hawai`i
Hawaiian Garden and Meandering Pathway Entrance
and Non Profit Community Effort Project
through a grove of native ‘Ohi‘a
Lehua Trees, with flowers in the colors of the rainbow; yellow,
orange and red, is now how the Boys & Girls Club of Hawai‘i
enter their new Wai‘anae Clubhouse.
started with an idea to design a garden for a place in need. The
non-profit, Wai‘anae Boys & Girls Club of Hawai‘i was the perfect Pro-Bono project to bring the
community together by planting a native Hawaiian learning garden and
by creating a welcoming entrance gathering place.
once was a small tree planting project with a limited budget of
$1,000, grew to an ambitious 5,000 s.f. native Hawaiian garden and
pathway entrance which then grew even further into an additional
2,000 s.f. side yard and parking area.
like a neglected large space shaded by over-grown Monkeypod Trees,
this dark, dirt-filled, unsafe tripping hazard front yard was used
as a bus parking space. Keiki
entered the clubhouse from the side entrance rather than the
unpleasant front entrance.
Three schematic landscape
designs, a fundraising drive, and the excitement and support of the
Wai‘anae Boys & Girls Director, Lana Keamo and
Administrator, Jim Gagne started this garden transformation.
With only a month until the planting day, Jackie Ralya,
Dennis Kim, and the landscape architect spent New Year's Eve
planting the native ‘Ae‘ae from a few trays of ground cover plants to
rooted cuttings that could fill the entire 5,000 s.f. area.
George Keamo tilled the land for a week in preparation for
three full days of work. Van
Goto and Green Thumb's generous
donations and their 3 finest workers, Franklin,
Danny and Rodel, George, Richard from the Boys & Girls Club and
the landscape architect worked diligently to prepare the soil and
install the new irrigation system.
This was generously donated by Bob Bosley from Diamond
Head Sprinkler Supply. The
poly-divider, donated in part by George Oshiro from Exacta Sales,
was careful laid out.
25 of the finest United States Army workers from the Military 2nd
Battalion, 211 Artillery, 556 Signal Company US Army, Schofield, and
the USAR Theater Support Group, Fort Shafter volunteered to help
move the gravel and the mulch donated by Hawaiian Earth Works.
These core workers were invaluable for the preparation work
before the planting could begin.
With little notice, Stan Oka from the City and County of
Honolulu, Urban Forestry had the Monkeypod Trees pruned.
The sky opened up and the sun shined on this beautiful living
garden. Oahu Urban
Waiahole Botanicals, Native Plant Source, Green
Thumb, Inc. and Lyon Arboretum donated some of the many plants for
Jackie Ralya representing the
Friends of Hawaii's
Urban Forestry and Kaulunai Urban & Community Forestry Program raised additional funds from the NFL
Pro Bowl greening project, USDA Forest Service, Covanta Energy,
First Insurance Company, and Hawaiian Electric Company.
excitement in the air, the planting day started. 300 Boys &
Girls Clubhouse Members and 100 volunteers came together to plant
the many native Hawaiian plant species.
Enthusiastically, the Boys & Girls lined up on the new
meandering pathway. They
listened to a short program that included inspirational speeches by
the Director, an NFL player, NFL environmental speeches, and a
legend about the native ‘Ohia Trees.
They took part in the blessing by a Kumu of the ceremonial
planting of native ‘Ohia Trees.
Each and every one of the Boys & Girls and community
participated by planting at least 1 ‘Ae‘ae ground cover or
native plant so that they could be a part of giving the garden life
and they could proudly take ownership of their own garden.
An emphasis for this
project was in the planting of Native Hawaiian plants and plants
used in the Hawaiian Culture. The
primary reason was that the Boys & Girls could learn how to
plant, grow, preserve, take care of, and discover their cultural
history and the uses of plants growing in their own front yard.
It was also important to provide a place where they could
learn the principals of stewardship and sustainability, which in turn will develop their minds in a
Just think, a place once
filled with dry packed soil, is now a place where the Boys &
Girls' imaginations can run free.
It is now a place where reading can take place among the
fragrance of native Nanu flowers, gardening in an ‘Ohi‘a Lehua
forest, strolling on a garden pathway where Ma‘o, ‘Akia,
Kulu‘i and many other native species are abundant.
Circular and linear gravel
spaces were designed for tables and benches.
These areas will become places for keiki to sit, read,
contemplate and interact in a peaceful setting.
To help them on their way, the landscape architect
recently purchased 2 concrete tables to be placed in the 2 large 10'
This community effort
project was extremely successful.
Thanks to our many Green Industry Partners, which include,
the finest landscape contractors, nurseries, botanical gardens,
urban gardens and landscape suppliers, for their generosity,
kindness, and community service. The Boys & Girls of Hawai‘i
and the Wai‘anae Community appreciate their new garden immensely!
Under the care and
watchful eyes of Lana and George, the Boys & Girls Club, the
Boys & Girls Torch Club (who adopted the garden), and the entire
Wai‘anae Community, their garden grows!
They are now all stewards of a garden that they can call
their very own.
For three decades in
Hawai‘i, the Boys & Girls Club reaches out to community youth
and teens to inspire young people to become responsible citizens.
And what better way to foster keikis to grow up to be these
responsible, positive members of the community than for them to
revitalize their community and help care for a new living garden
that will inspire them for generations.
Come and see for yourself
the great addition this garden is for the neighborhood of Wai‘anae
at the base of the Wai‘anae Mountain Range.
Boys & Girls Club of Hawai`i
Native Hawaiian Garden and Meandering Pathway Entrance project was
recognized by Scenic Hawai`i for a Betty Crocker Award of
Honor in 2012.