ʻŌhiʻa Love Fest returns with multiple in-person events on Kauaʻi
After two “virtual” years of celebration, ʻŌhiʻa Love Fest returns with in-person events across Hawaiʻi.
The theme of this year’s festivities is Mōhala, or the unfurling of the lehua. It is a life stage of the blossoming lehua, but it also represents how we are emerging out of COVID with a new celebration.
Ōhi‘a not only is a spectacularly beautiful native Hawaiian tree, but it also plays an important role in Hawaiʻi’s forest ecosystems and in Hawaiian culture.
‘Ōhi‘a is critical to providing the water we drink and keeping our ocean reefs clean. Earlier this year, ōhiʻa was named the State Endemic Tree of Hawaiʻi.
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.
These statewide events are brought to you by the University of Hawaiʻi, the Department of Land and Natural Resource’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife, and island Invasive Species Committees. All activities are free, but a few do require advance registration.
On Kauaʻi, a week-long schedule of activities runs Nov. 15-19:
- Tuesday, Nov. 15, 10-11:30 a.m. at Waimea Canyon State Park’s ʻIliau Nature Loop — ʻŌhiʻa Seed Collecting: Join this workshop and help collect ʻōhiʻa seeds for conservation purposes. Attendance is limited. Register here.
- Wednesday, Nov. 16, 7:30 – 11 a.m. at Makauwahi Cave Reserve — ʻOhiʻa Tree Planting: Attendance is limited. Register here.
- Thursday, Nov. 17, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at Kokeʻe State Park’s Kaluapuhi Trail — ʻOhiʻa Tree Planting: Help plant ʻōhiʻa and other native plants in Kokeʻe. Attendance is limited. Register here.
- Friday, Nov. 18 at 11 a.m. — Get your free ʻōhiʻa seedling and bio-sanitation kit, while supplies last. Location to be determined.
- Friday, Nov, 18, 4 p.m. — Forest Friday: Whatʻs Da Haps in the forests of Kauaʻi? Hear from Kauaʻi Invasive Species Committee and Kauaʻi Forest Bird Recovery Project as they share year-end updates on Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, Little Fire Ants, Miconia and forest bird recovery efforts at Zoom. Register here.
- Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Limahuli Garden and Preserve — Hoʻolauleʻa + Plant Sale: Join us for a special day-long celebration, including a native plant sale, cultural demonstrations, educational booths, craft and food vendors, and a whole lot more. Visit here for more information.
There are also events on the other islands:
- Maui: Saturday, Nov. 5, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. — Maui Nui Botanical Gardens will give away more than 1,000 Hawaiian trees for free, 1 tree per person, any age. It also is holding a Garden Expo that will feature horticultural and tree care classes, a plant sale and free activities, including a special “Hale ʻŌhiʻa” to learn about ʻōhiʻa.
- Big Island: Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Pāhoa Community Center will host an ʻōhiʻa potting workshop, booths, games, prizes and a raffle giveaway.
- Oʻahu: Saturday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Leeward Community College will host booths, workshops, crafts and giveaways. Enter for a chance to win two tickets to tour Waiheʽe tunnel and see firsthand how a watershed and aquifer works. All prizes and giveaways are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, including an ʻōhiʻa starter kit.
For the 2023 ʻŌhiʻa Love Fest activities and schedule, go to: bit.ly/ohialove.