Hawai‘i Island School Garden to be Featured in National Broadcast

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The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School will be featured in a coast-to-coast virtual tour of school gardens from Hawai‘i Island to Washington D.C. Māla‘ai is one of only six school gardens across the country selected to present an online video lesson during the tour.

The premier event, Growing School Gardens: Seeding a Healthy Future for Our Youth, is a celebration of National Garden Month. So far, 500 different schools have signed up to participate by viewing the 45-minute broadcast (which can be accessed afterward as separate lesson videos, each lasting about 3-5 minutes).

Hosted by the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation, with support from the School Garden Support Organization Network, the tour will highlight ways school gardens advance nutrition and environmental literacy, STEM education, and social-emotional wellness.

School classes, educators, at-home learners, families, and gardeners of all ages are invited to register for the program at,; it will also be available online afterwards.


For Māla‘ai, the afterschool class will present “‘E Kilo ‘Oe—Observe Nature with All Your Senses.” In it, they share the meaning of oli, traditional chants, and how growing staple crops like kalo teach about important cultural connections between plants, people, food and the land. Students in Māla‘ai harvest, cook and explain the Hawaiian practice of kilo, keen observation.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our garden and the larger movement in Hawai‘i. We are honored to represent this work and proud of our students’ ability to share its value. What we’ve accomplished over the last 16 years with students, teachers and the community has truly been the work of many hands,” says Zoe Kosmas, Interim Executive Director of Māla‘ai. “Hawaiiʻs living culture and deep roots create a meaningful context for ‘āina based education which values the overall well-being of our children, and this is essential for post-COVID education. We’re excited to be part of this celebration of school gardens told by students, for students.”

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