When we began the endeavor to preserve and restore native dryland forest we always knew it would be future generations that would learn and benefit from the preserve. We know that they will be the stewards of the environment and will influence the future of our forests. We have always felt that it is important to invest in that future; it’s what drives us. The first children to visit the preserve came to learn from the ancient wiliwili trees before the preserve was completed; they were our very first bunch of Future Foresters.
Each year we grow and host new children but almost all of our original Future Foresters are still active in the forest in some way. The Future Foresters can identify native plants and collect valuable data in the field. They learn environmental science and natural history and they have lots of fun in the forest. But perhaps more importantly, they absorb the culture and value of our native forest by actually experiencing it for themselves, by connecting to place.
We have expanded the Future Foresters beyond our core club to include field trips for hundreds of children. We host elementary, middle school and high school classes, students from around the world and many different youth organizations from around the island. Through these trips kids learn, experience and participate in our unique dryland forest. These programs are the very best part of what we do in the Waikoloa Dry Forest; seeing young people explore, discover, question, learn and care for their surroundings gives me great hope for the future.
We value these programs and our future, and we know you do too. Please show your support by making a donation to support another year of these valuable programs.
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