‘Ōhia flowers on the Big Island. Photo by J. B. Friday, University of Hawai‘i

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is announcing that after two “virtual” years of celebation, ʻŌhiʻa Love Fest returns with numerous in-person events across Kauaʻi and one virtual event for everyone no matter location. The theme of this year’s festivities is Mōhala, or the unfurling of the lehua. It is not only a phenology, life stage, of the blossoming of​ lehua, but it also represents how we are emerging out of COVID with new celebration.

‘Ōhi‘a is critical to providing the water we drink, keeping our ocean reefs clean, and is important to the native Hawaiian culture. Earlier this year, ‘ōhiʻa was named the State Endemic Tree of Hawaiʻi. All activities are free, but a few do require advance registration, according to a DLNR news release.

Schedule of Events:
 
Tuesday, Nov. 15 @ 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Waimea Canyon State Park / Iliau Nature Loop
ʻŌhiʻa Seed Collecting: This workshop will explain the different phenophases (stages) of lehua from ʻōpuʻu lehua (flower buds) to hua hakahaka (dried seed pods). Participants will collect ʻōhiʻa seeds for conservation purposes. Attendance is limited. Register here.

Wednesday, Nov. 16 @ 7:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Makauwahi Cave Reserve
ʻŌhiʻa Tree Planting: Participants will help plant ʻōhiʻa and other native trees at Makauwahi Cave Reserve on the South Shore. A tour of the cave will be offered. This event is hosted by Makauwahi Cave Reserve and the Kauaʻi Climate Action Coalition. Attendance is limited. Register here.

Thursday, NNov. 17 @ 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Kokeʻe State Park / Kaluapuhi Trail
ʻŌhiʻa Tree Planting: Participants will help plant ʻōhiʻa and other native plants in Kokeʻe. This event is hosted by Kokeʻe Resource Conservation Program. Attendance is limited. Register here.

Friday, Nov. 18 @ 11 a.m.
Kapaʻa / Tamba Surf Co.
A limited supply of 
free ʻōhiʻa seedlings and bio-sanitation kits will be given away while supplies last.

Friday, Nov. 18 @ 4 p.m.
Forest Friday: Whatʻs Da Haps in the forests of Kauaʻi?
Kauaʻi Invasive Species Committee and Kauaʻi Forest Bird Recovery Project will share year-end updates on Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, Little Fire Ants, Miconia and forest bird recovery efforts. This talk story event will take place via Zoom. Register here.

Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Limahuli Garden and Preserve
Hoʻolauleʻa + Plant Sale: A day-long celebration, including a native plant sale, cultural demonstrations, educational booths, craft, and food vendors, and a whole lot more will run all day longNo fee to enter. Self-guided tours available. Visit here for more information.

As in past years, the festival celebrates ʻōhiʻa lehua as Hawaii’s most ecologically and culturally important tree species. ‘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.
 
This event is brought to you by Kauaʻi Invasive Species Committee, DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) Kaua‘i Branch and Division of State Parks – Kauaʻi and Natural Area Reserve System – Kauaʻi, National Tropical Botannical Garden, Limahuli Garden and Preserve, Makauwahi Cave Reserve, Kauaʻi Climate Action CoalitionKokeʻe Resource Conservation Program, Tamba Surf Co., Kauaʻi Forest Bird Recovery Project.

Best of Ohia Around Hawaii from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.


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