The Maui News posted a wonderful article on how The Nature Conservancy is hosting eight inner-city youths from Los Angeles on Maui and the Big Island. These high school students get to spend the summer working in nature! The program, now in its second year, is called LEAF – Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future and it focuses on teaching kids about conservation, science and green jobs.
On Maui, the students are allowed access into Waikamoi preserve to conduct weed removal. This area is otherwise closed to the public for fear of Rapid Ohia Death (which is running rampant on the Big Island) spreading into the Ohia Lehua rich area. They also work with Maui Cultural Lands doing fish surveys and taro loi restoration, as well as Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project to complete bird surveys. Working with these groups is an excellent way to expose the students to the importance of both natural and cultural resources that are threatened on Maui.
As Ulalia Woodside, executive director of the Nature Conservancy in Hawaii said in the Maui News article, “exposing youth from urban communities to nature and conservation careers helps them understand and value the environment. Hosting LEAF interns augments our ongoing efforts to engage young people in experiences that connect them with our unique and irreplaceable natural and cultural resources.”
Thank you Nature Conservancy for providing this wonderful opportunity. We look forward to seeing it continue in the future. If you’d like to support The Nature Conservancy, please go here: