Just in time for Christmas, Kua O Ka La Public Charter School will be getting a nice big present to aid in their lava recovery. Puna nonprofit Malama O Puna has just donated its 9.38 acre forested lot in Nanawale Estates to Ho‘oulu Lāhui, the nonprofit that supports Kua O Ka La public charter school. The lot was originally donated to Malama O Puna by Nancy Duff, daughter of the developer of the subdivision, with the proviso that it be used for education and/or recreation. Malama O Puna allowed the land to reforest itself naturally after a wildfire, controlling weeds from time to time, but not really doing anything with it. Its board recently decided to put it to better use.
Kua O Ka La lost its campus to the 2018 lava flow, and its temporary one at Nani Mau Gardens is not in Puna, although its students and staff are mostly based there. Kua O Ka La’s curriculum has a strong focus on Hawaiian culture and biology: the students learn about native plants by propagating them and giving them away to the public every year for Arbor Day. The parcel in Nanawale will now be dedicated to this program and a greenhouse will be built.
MOP president René Siracusa and Ho‘oulu Lāhui president Luika Imaoka executed a memorandum of agreement outlining the mutual understanding of the two nonprofits, and on December 11th signed the Quitclaim Deed at the attorney’s office. The land transfer is now official and the students, who endured the disruption and uncertainty of the natural disaster, will now have a large, beautiful parcel in which to learn, flourish and thrive. Both nonprofits are thrilled about the future for our youth.