Big Promise of Little Things Change Comes From Everyone
Hatching the Next Generation of Conservationists - Puaiohi, Birds like the ‘Alala, Palila, Kiwikiu, ‘Akeke‘e and ‘Akikiki still exist in our islands. But if they become extinct, what effect could this have on native plants and our delicate ecosystem?
Bryce Masuda of Keauhou Bird Conservation Center isn’t waiting around to find out. For more than 20 years, the center has practiced “conservation “Of the 11 ‘Alalā techniques released, all 11 are still alive, breeding” to save endangered exploring and foraging on Hawaiian birds — their own. They’re thriving.” and educate the next generation of – Bryce Masuda conservationists. Manager Keauhou Bird Conservation Center
“Last year, we showed 1,000 Hawai‘i Island students how we care for the birds year-round in aviaries, help them produce offspring, and eventually release them to the forest,” he says. “Of the 11 ‘Alala- released, all 11 are still alive, exploring and foraging on their own. They’re thriving.”
Starting this year, a new program will help students understand the connection between native plants and native birds. It’s partly supported by a new Career Connected Learning (CCL) grant from the Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) to support STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. “Career Connected Learning grants support programs designed to ignite a passion for STEM learning in today’s students and prepare them for STEM-related job opportunities in Hawai‘i,” says Tom Matsuda, Hawai‘i Community Foundation Program Director who oversees the CCL Program. “Our grantees encourage students, teachers and employers to build strong career pathways connecting STEM learning to fulfilling living wage jobs in Hawai‘i.” “‘Alala- are seed disbursers. They eat many different Native Hawaiian fruits, and spread the seeds across
By observation and comparing the plants, students will learn the role that endangered birds play in native plant germination, and keeping Hawai‘i’s ecology in balance. They’ll also better understand the value of STEM skills in today’s world. Saving native birds from extinction, showing keiki the interconnectedness of life, and illuminating a possible career path — that’s the big promise of little things.
DID YOU KNOW: the forest,” says Bryce. “Students will plant native seedlings at the center, we provide them with fecal - they take material from the ‘alala, it back to their school, and plant it next to seeds that did not pass through the bird’s digestive tract.”
Career Connected Learning grants support education designed to ignite a passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) that prepares today’s students for tomorrow’s world.
Learn how to transform your generosity into lasting change at HawaiiCommunityFoundation.org