Pat Gegen's High School Sustainability class learned about Traditional Hawaiian food sustainability practices during a trip to Alekoko Fish Pond last week, and furthered their understanding of local sustainable ranching by spending some time with the ranchers at A'Akukui Ranch (two of the working ranch hands who toured us are Island School Students Cody Manibog and AJ Galiza). Sometimes the best and most practical way to understand sustainability and resilient practices is to study our Hawaiian host culture, which successfully sustained life on these Islands for nearly 1,000 years before European and other outside cultures began to have an impact. The Hawaiian Philosophy of "Give, Take, Regenerate," which is an example of a circular economy, became evident in the history and practices at Alekoko Fish Pond. When we contrast these traditional ideals with our current consumer based economy it becomes an excellent example of how our goal of increased production and efficiency have taken a toll on our natural ecosystems.
Students spent their "non-academic" time at the fishpond learning how to help eradicate various invasive species that had previously overtaken this important cultural and economic resource.