HONOLULU (KHON2) — One of Hawaiʻi’s most important and beautiful natural gifts is being celebrated in November.
November is ʻŌhiʻa Love Fest. It’s dedicated to promoting the incredible plant in urban areas.
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It is important to understand that ‘ōhi‘a is critical to providing the water we drink here in Hawaiʻi. ʻŌhiʻa keep our ocean reefs clean and is an important component to native culture of Hawaiʻi.
These are the schedule of events taking place:
On Saturday, Nov. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Maui Nui Botanical Gardens will give away more than 1,000 Hawaiian trees for free. They are offering one tree per person, any age. The MALP Garden Expo will feature horticultural and tree care classes, a plant sale and free activities, including a special “Hale ʻŌhiʻa” to learn about ʻōhiʻa.
On Hawaiʻi Island
On Saturday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Pahoa Community Center will host an ʻōhiʻa potting workshop, booths, games, prizes and a raffle giveaway.
On Saturday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Leeward Community College will host booths, workshops, crafts and giveaways. You can enter for a chance to win two tickets to tour Waiheʽe tunnel and see firsthand how a watershed and aquifer works. All prizes and giveaways are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, including an ohia starter kit.
Tuesday, Nov. 15 through Saturday, Nov. 19 is host to a week-long schedule of activities. These include an ʻōhiʻa seed collecting hike, ʻōhiʻa tree planting around the island, ʻōhiʻa seedling giveaways and bio-sanitation kit giveaways. This all culminates in a daylong celebration with a native plant sale, educational booths, cultural demonstrations, local craft and food vendors and ʻōhiʻa themed presentations at Limahuli Garden and Preserve.
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“As in past years, the festival celebrates ʻōhiʻa lehua as Hawaiʻi’s most ecologically and culturally important tree species,” said a statement from the Department of Land and Natural Resources. “‘Ōhi‘a is currently under threat from two deadly fungal pathogens, resulting in a disease known as Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD). Included in the week’s activities will be information about how ROD spreads and the actions needed to protect remaining healthy ʻōhiʻa. The festival is designed for the whole family.”