WAI‘ANAE, Hawai‘i—Hundreds of volunteers rolled up their sleeves on this Arbor Day, clearing away brush and planting more than 1,500 native trees at the Wai‘anae Kai Forest Reserve for Bank of Hawai‘i’s annual Community Service Day.
This year, the event also marked the culmination of Bank of Hawai‘i’s pledge to plant the equivalent of more than 125 trees per week throughout 2022 in celebration of the bank’s 125th anniversary and commitment to sustaining the environment.
In addition to Saturday’s volunteer hours, Bank of Hawai‘i Foundation and long-time corporate partner, Hawaiian Airlines, donated a combined total of $10,000 to Wai‘anae Mountain Watershed Partnership in support of its mission to develop and implement management strategies for the Wai‘anae Mountains and its native species and habitats.
This brings the total amount of grants awarded to nonprofits from Bank of Hawai‘i’s 125th anniversary tree planting pledge to $121,202. Funds were distributed to 12 organizations across the island communities the bank serves, with $106,000 going to eight Hawai‘i nonprofits and $15,202 going to Guam, Saipan and Palau.
“Our goal during our milestone 125th anniversary year was to put our commitment to preserving our environment at the forefront, to mālama our islands by planting trees today for a better tomorrow. We have long focused on sustainability at Bank of Hawai‘i and caring for our home. We plan to continue to invest in the environment today and for generations to come,” said Momi Akimseu, Bank of Hawai‘i Foundation president.
Grants were determined with consultation from the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife Kaulunani Urban & Community Forestry Program. All funds were used to plant or distribute trees for planting, with each nonprofit creating its own plan for their grant money. Many focused on providing food-bearing trees for low income communities or on campuses across Hawai‘i’s public school system. (BOH)