Honolulu – Although 2020 has no doubt been a challenging year, the Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program (part of the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife) and their partners are committed to continue the state’s annual tradition of planting and giving away trees in their 115th year celebrating Arbor Day Hawaiʻi.
Each November, Arbor Day Hawaiʻi events distribute thousands of trees to residents across the state to create a greener Hawaiʻi. This year will be no exception, though it will look a bit different. Instead of gathering events, many of the giveaway locations will be switching to a drive-thru model where you can reserve a time to come pick up your tree of choice, or something similar.
“Safety is a top priority this year, we are working to ensure that all of our events enforce smart health-conscious protocols while still allowing the community to celebrate Arbor Day. This year has been exceptionally tough, but we felt that we needed to continue our tradition of distributing trees, increasing our tree canopy, and raising awareness about the importance of trees now more than ever,” said Shannon Noelle Rivera, project consultant with Arbor Day Hawaiʻi.
Individuals can make a tangible impact on their family and community well-being by planting and maintaining trees in their neighborhoods, donating to forestry organizations, and volunteering in restoration projects. Hawai’i residents have an opportunity to get involved directly each year by participating in Arbor Day Hawaiʻi.
November marks the beginning of the rainy season in Hawai‘i, which is the perfect time to plant trees. Thousands of trees and dozens of species are scheduled to be given away on November 7th, and Arbor Day Hawaiʻi is looking for people committed to planting these trees in hopes of a brighter, greener, and healthier future.
“With global health being a main theme of this year, it’s imperative for everyone to know about the connections between trees and our health. We want the people participating in Arbor Day to know that even by planting just one tree, they are helping,” Rivera further stated.
This year, Arbor Day Hawaiʻi tree giveaways supported by Kaulunani will be held on Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, and Maui. Find the giveaway nearest you for a chance to plant a much-needed tree by visiting www.ArborDayHawaii.org. Arbor Day Hawaiʻi trees are free, one-per-family, will be in one-gallon pots, and are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Masks and social distancing will be required at every site. Please visit the website for specific details on each island location.
The 2020 Arbor Day Oʻahu giveaways are presented in partnership by the Kaulunani Urban & Community Forestry Program, USDA Forest Service, City & County of Honolulu, Hawai’i State Division of Forestry and Wildlife. Additional support in thanks to Smart Trees Pacific, the Waimea Valley, Aloha Arborist Association, Women’s Community Correctional Center, O’ahu Urban Garden Ohana, University of Hawai’i Master Gardener Program, Malama Learning Center, Girl Scouts of Hawai’i, Blue Zones Project, Alexander and Baldwin. Tree giveaways on Kauai and Maui and in Kailua and West O’ahu are managed by local partners and supported by the Kaulunani Urban & Community Forestry Program.
For more information on Arbor Day Hawaiʻi, please contact: Heather McMillen, Kaulunani UCF Coordinator. (808) 286-7218. Email: Heather.L.McMillen@hawaii.gov.