Teacher Meryl Abrams and assistant teacher Brandon Kitch show Kala‘e Abrams Kaua‘i’s North Shore on the map.
About 200 years ago, during the reign of King Kaumuali‘i, the island was divided into five moku, or districts, each containing several ahupua‘a, pieces of land usually delineated from mauka to makai, or mountain to the ocean, like a pie slice.
Ahupua‘a Explorations will teach up to 25 children from fifth to sixth grade about watershed concepts using outdoor learning, hands-on science activities focused on ahupua‘a models and community service projects within the Halele‘a Moku, which goes from Ke‘e Beach to Kalihiwai.
“Do you know your place? And do you know your role in it?” said Maka‘ala Ka‘aumoana, who as a child heard the same questions from her mother. Now, as the executive director of the Hanalei Watershed Hui, she wants the children to find their own answers.
“What is your place in your place? That’s what I want the kids to hear,” she said.
Along with the Hanalei Watershed Hui, the other three principal partners planning and executing the program are the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources — Division of Aquatic Resources.