A group of Young Adult students recently had the opportunity to assist with a Sandalwood Restoration project on the slopes of Mauna Kea. After departing Reeds Bay, the group took a scenic drive to meet the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park rangers at the restoration site. The rangers explained the importance of this project and the need to plant native Sandalwood to regenerate the forest and help maintain the root system of this region.
Students were given instructions and tools and worked alongside the rangers, digging holes and planting “keiki” sandalwood trees. It was important to find a moist area in the soil, dig a small hole and then plug in the baby plant. Finding a nice, water-fed area was essential to ensure the small plants will grow.
A few of the students were a bit apprehensive at first, as this was a new project – but the rangers were patient and compassionate and able to help students to provide extra support to the group. Before long, students were excited to get their hands dirty and help out! It was a beautiful day and from the higher elevation, the group had a an incredible view of Haleakala – the volcano on Maui as well as the Kohala mountains and Mauna Loa. At this higher elevation there were a variety of different flowers, including the Hawaiian Rose, which provided insight into how diverse the Big Island landscape is.
Pacific Quest is committed to community stewardship and the ability to “give back”. We believe empowering young adults to be active participants in community service promotes positive and meaningful engagement in society. This is an ongoing project and Pacific Quest students will continue to offer support on a monthly basis towards rebuilding this ecosystem.
The Pacific Quest Foundation also provides financial support to the Sandalwood Reforestation project. Grants such as these are made possible by the generous donations of Pacific Quest and Pacific Quest Foundation families, friends and supporters.