The Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative will be holding a festival this Saturday on the Big Island. An article by Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi on WDFI and the festival appeared in Sunday’s Star-Advertiser. Here is an excerpt:
The Waikoloa Village Outdoor Circle launched the Wiliwili Festival in 2010 to raise awareness about Hawaii’s dryland forests, the species that live there, important conservation issues and the principles of good stewardship. After a break in 2012, the festival is returning this year with WDFI as the host and organizer.
“We’ll be giving tours of the preserve during the festival for the first time, so visitors will be able to see the trees and plants up close,” [executive director Jen] Lawson said. “The wiliwili will hopefully be in bloom, which is awesome, and there will be plenty of opportunities for photos. At the nursery, we’ll show 35 species of native plants that we’re growing for the restoration project. We are reintroducing about 2,000 native plants within the preserve each year with the help of our dedicated volunteers.”
The festival will also feature workshops on traditional uses of wiliwili; plant propagation and growing techniques; and edible landscaping and permaculture, an agricultural system that promotes the use of renewable natural resources to create self-sustaining ecosystems.
Twenty-five educational, environmental and cultural organizations will be dispensing information and offering interactive activities such as origami, kite-making, lau hala and coconut-frond weaving and planting wiliwili seeds in little pots that participants can take home. There will also be food, live music, prize giveaways, a silent auction and a sale of native plants.
“The Wiliwili Festival reveals a side of Hawaii that many people, both kamaaina and visitors, haven’t seen before,” Lawson said. “We hope they will one day be as familiar with native dryland forest trees and flowers as they are with plumeria, vanda orchids and other non-native species. The festival is going to be interesting, enlightening and wiliwili fun!”
For the entire article, see Festival_places_focus_on_forests_Hawaii_News_Honolulu_Star_Ad.