BENEFITING: Hui o Laka
“The New CCC” on the Island of Kauaʻi links past and present in a community-based conservation project of amazing potential not just for Kauaʻi but the whole country. Can community-driven forest conservation in the 21st Century call forth inspiration from last time America invested substantial person-power into our precious natural resources? Harkening back to Civilian Conservation Corps days 8 decades ago, can this Community Conservation Corps involve all ages in forest restoration and historic preservation?
On the mountains of Kauaʻi, we’ve proved it can. We are mounting this CrowdRise campaign to build a sturdy foundation for “The New CCC” so that these remarkable efforts can continue for generations.
In 2003, Hui o Lakaʻs long-time interest in forest conservation moved from episodic volunteer workdays to a year-round program. Ten years later, Kōkua Kōkeʻe annually fields over 1,000 volunteers each to weed and hand-groom front country trails, park roadsides, lookouts and other places used and cherisheed by people. Besides having a lot of fun and learning about the forest, these ordinary citizen-volunteers of all ages donate over 8,000 hours in the parks each year.
Both the forest and volunteers of all ages are renewed and healed in the Kōkua Kōkeʻe "forest gardening" effort in the beautiful but beleaguered upland forests of Kauaʻi. This culturally sensitive program incorporates traditional Hawaiian values and is centered on the restored Kōkeʻe CCC Camp that provides meeting and storage space as well as overnight accommodations in this remote mountain setting. It regularly involves all generations, from nā keiki, the children, to kūpuna (elders) and everyone in between - and they ALL have fun and want to return. To support both Kōkua Kōkeʻe and the historic camp, weʻve even dived into product development, using the CCC Camp workshop to craft saleable items created from forest weeds - "conservation crafts."
Never before has there been a “resources management” program that didn't depend on government or grant funding. Help us prove it's possible.
Help us prove it's possible to keep community conservation alive and sustainable through community effort! Your donation will support operating costs for one year for "The New CCC." You'll help support volunteer training, tools and supervision as well as ongoing development of the historic CCC Camp in Kokee State Park. Youʻll help us hire a Community Support Coordinator, an additional part-time Field Supervisor for volunteers, and a Camp Manager. We know this will give us a “leg up” on creating a sturdy, sustainable volunteer effort that can become a model for the country.
We can do this! We can definitely save our forests if thousands upon thousands of trained volunteers into many generations are involved in "The New CCC." Let it begin with us! Let it begin with you! May the forest be with us all!
Although online donations are a minimum of $10, your tax-deductible donation of $20 or more automatically makes you an official member of Hui o Laka with all the rights and privileges of membership—including the right to stay at Kōke‘e’s historic CCC Camp.