Aloha and Best Wishes for a Joyous, Healthy and Productive New Year to all our members and supporters! We are pleased to share with you here our review of 2010’s challenges, accomplishments and activities.

The photo to the right was taken at the Wai ‘Opae Marine Life Conservation District, also known as the Vacationland tide pools, which we helped to protect several years ago. The underwater shot was taken by Scott Henderson during a study that we commissionto measure water quality and fish populations (native and non-native) over time. It is an important tool in our ongoing program to monitor and preserve our aina. As you know, our exempt purpose as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit is to assure critical habitat for native species and open spaces for future generations through environmental education, hands-on projects, and acquisition of real property for preservation, protection and restoration. Please keep this in mind as you read this newsletter, so that you can judge for yourself how well we are succeeding in keeping this commitment.

e malama pono,



Caring for our Land
This is the name of the column that we have contributed to the Puna News since May, 2003 until August, 2010. Then the Puna News ceased publication for a while, and we were left without a major outlet that we had depended on to inform the people of Puna about environmental issues and our activities. But the good news is that the Puna News is now back, albeit in electronic form. This saves trees, so it is a good thing. Go to

Jon OlsonPuna Sustainability Expo
We held two expos in 2010: in May at the beautiful Kamehameha Schools campus, and in October at the Leilani Estates facility. From now on we will only put on one expo a year, and it will be held in Leilani. Next one will be October 8, 2011. Shown to the left is Jon Olson with his home-made solar hot water heater. Tom Lackey showed up with a still whose product can run your lawnmower or spike your punch.

Our expos are designed to allow Puna residents who have information, resources, products and out-of-the-box affordable do-it-yourself ideas to share them with the rest of us. And, of course, to give the rest of us the opportunity to learn, buy, share and promote right back at them.

Events at Kalani Honua
Barkus Adams, who is in charge of the environmental programs and projects at Kalani Honua, not only volunteered at our October expo (above) but invited us to take part in two events at Kalani this year. On July 4th we set up an exhibit and handed out some of our materials, and talked story with attendees. Then at their Eco-Fest on Oct. 25th, René gave a talk on “Sustainable Home Gardens” and Nohealani spoke on “Native Plants’ on Oct. 29th. Both were well attended and well received.

Educational Handouts
We have an assortment of free Malama O Puna-created brochures and handouts available to you as either hard copy or email attachments:

Kahu Wai Program
As a result of a grant proposal written by our Education Chair, Malia Messick, we were awarded a $77k grant from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for a program for grades 2-4 and 11-12 at five different schools in Hilo and Puna makai. The program, Keiki Advancing Hawai’i’s Understanding of Watershed/Ahupua’a Issues (KAHU WAI) combines the natural sciences with Hawaiian culture. A Kahu Wai was a steward of the freshwater resources, so this is an appropriate (and very clever) acronym. Malia has collected a group of experts to create a curriculum, which can be used long after the grant period. The textbook is packed with full color photographs donated by some of our State’s best known photographers. The research projects that the students create will be showcased at the end of the project in both Hilo and Pāhoa.

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