Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 |
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MOLOA‘A — The Boys and Girls Club of Kapa‘a enjoyed an afternoon connecting with nature at Retro Farms in late June, according to a news release from the farm.
Along with youth development director Katy Means, the group traveled to the farm in Moloa‘a for the third time in one year.
While there, they spend time enjoying the view from the coastal observation platform that was constructed last year with funds donated from Young Brothers Shipping, KIUC and a private school.
The platform is the first of three outdoor classrooms that are part of the Mighty Seed Learning Center, a non-profit environmental education center located on the farm. It serves as a place for learning about seabirds, whales, pollinators and other environmental lessons as well, according to the release. When it is not being used for lessons, it is a gathering place for youth groups like the Boys and Girls Club to participate in activities such as practicing hula, haka and oli as well as ukulele, crafts and journaling.
The varied terrain of the farm allowed for the students to break off into smaller reflection groups and connect to nature in their own way, the news release said. The 3-acre forest is an ideal place to explore, make forts or just have fun outdoors and enjoy some unstructured time, the release states. The 2-acre mango and avocado orchard is a fun place to learn about sustainable farming and the 3-acre hardwood forest is a great place to make tree rubbings that can be included in crafts or journals, the release said.
The goal of the learning center is to create excitement for nature and instill a desire in the children to become better stewards of the land and protect the islands resources, organizers said.
“My fondest childhood memories come from the times I was exploring nature, building forts, making bike paths and finding magical places in the woods,” says Retro Farms director Mary Ellen Houston. “We want to provide that opportunity for Kaua‘i’s youth and fill them with wonderment about the ‘aina. If they choose outdoor play over video games and hanging out at the mall, they will be healthier, happier and more inclined to take better care of our natural resources.”
Boys and Girls Club youth development director Means considers the time her groups spend at Retro Farms a step in the right direction to making her boys and girls more ecologically conscious citizens, and embraces every opportunity she can to bring them back to the farm for a nature connection.
“It takes an entire community working together to grow ‘great’ kids,” says Means. “The outdoor classroom has a lasting impact and teaches them about the need for preservation.”
Any school or youth groups interested in visiting the farm or participating in environmental education lessons and field trips may contact Mary Ellen Houston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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