A healthy ‘ohia in Waimea Canyon. Photo by J. B. Friday, University of Hawai‘i

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is encouraging the public to join the celebration of Hawai‘i’s endemic trees at the 2021 ʻŌhiʻa Love Festival, according to a DLNR news release.

The festival is free and online, following same safe protocols in place in last year’s festival. Expanding from a single species to an entire ecosystem, this year’s festival theme is “Celebrate Forests.”

Three live workshops will be offered:

  • A virtual tour of the different types of forests and the special flora, fauna, and ecosystems found across the islands
  • An examination of the different species and varieties of ʻōhiʻa, where they grow, and how to identify them
  • Presentations on cultivating your own ‘ōhi‘a from collecting and sowing seeds to planting and caring for ‘ōhi‘a at home

Beginning, Wednesday, Nov. 3, free keiki activity and craft kits will be available at participating Hawaiʻi State Public Libraries while supplies last.

  • ʻŌhiʻa Love Fest will culminate with Arbor Day. In Hawaiʻi, Arbor Day is celebrated on Saturday, November 6th. Bring the celebration of forests to your backyard by adopting a tree at one of the Arbor Day events across the state.

‘Ōhi‘a lehua is a cornerstone species of our native forests, protecting our reefs, and providing water for all, food for native wildlife, and inspiration for over a thousand years of Hawaiian culture.  Unfortunately, a deadly fungal pathogen leading to Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death has killed over a million ʻōhiʻa trees on Hawaiʻi island and hundreds of others across the state.

Registration is required for some of the virtual events and the festival is designed for the whole family.

This event is brought to you by the University of Hawaiʻi, the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife, and your local Invasive Species Committees.

Find more information and registration on the ʻŌhiʻa Love Festival page at bit.ly/ohialove. Visit www.rapidohiadeath.org to learn more about Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death.

ʻŌhiʻa- Kīlauea Iki Trail, Volcanoes National Park (July 2021) from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.


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