A visit to Papahana Kuaola .

Priory third graders and Prep third and fourth grade students enjoyed a visit to Papahana Kuaola last Friday. The eager learners delighted in first-hand lessons on environmental restoration, lo’i patches, and practiced armored catfishing. Papahana Kuaola is a mālama ʻāina based learning organization that is connecting the area’s past with a sustainable future.

Prep fourth graders are engaged in a yearlong study on Hawaiiana. Their current focus is on Hawaiian geography and the ahupua’a structure. Leeza Holguin, Prep fourth grade teacher said tour guides at Papahana Kuaola explained the features of an ahupua’a to the students. “What better way to learn about ahupua’as than visiting the nature,” she said.

The students participated in an invasive species removal activity, which involved going in the stream and removing invasive armored catfish with nets. Another restoration activity involved clearing debris and collecting kukui nuts. While collecting the nuts students learned how they can be used and were even able to break open two nuts and take them home. “Through all the activities there was a clear focus on building a sense of respect and responsibility for the land,” she said.

It is these study experiences and opportunities that truly make Hawaii the best classroom in the World!