It was an exciting day in the gym today when four HPA seniors signed their National Letters of Intent. Each senior was surrounded by friends and family and presented with leis in celebration of this momentous occasion and incredible achievement.
On our spectacular island home, rich in natural resources and far removed from traditional energy systems and sources, sustainability is an integral part of our daily operations, our curriculum, and our vision. At HPA, we aspire to be the preeminent K-12 model for environmental sustainability – a goal to which we are expressly committed in our strategic plan.
To achieve this goal, we are focused on schoolwide eco-consciousness and forward-thinking policies and projects, including a zero-waste initiative at the Lower School campus, an ongoing student-led energy audit of both campuses, expanding energy reliance on photovoltaic systems, a thriving Lower School garden and outdoor kitchen, and the important learning that is happening in our Outdoor Classroom and Terrace Farm at the Upper Campus.
The Terrace Farm serves as an educational, cultural and community resource where growing healthy food supports healthy lifestyles, which in turn manifests healthy communities. Classes in the Outdoor Classroom serve as a model for showcasing the value of research and fieldwork, and bring to light the rich heritage of Hawaiian agricultural practices. Through hundreds of years of volcanic erosion, the Waimea soil has been almost perfectly primed for agricultural practices. Students in Deighton Emmons’ Agroecology class have the chance to build, plot, and manage their own gardens, growing produce such as cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, and kale. Ongoing student research projects include The Effects of Organic Pesticides on Various Fruit Trees at the Terrace Farm Orchard, The Photosynthetic Rate of Various Native Plants at the Terrace Farm, and The Effect Grazing Animals Have in Containing Invasive Grasses and Weeds at the Terrace Farm.
The drive for sustainability cannot be achieved with one swift blow, but with multiple, strategic steps forward, backed by people and facilities with the right motivation and resources. HPA is joining the movement forward in sustainable living with long and confident strides.