The University of Hawaii Student Association (UHHSA) voted unanimously to support the Permaculture Parking Lot (PPL) at last Thursday’s senate meeting (see video here).
The bill will fund the creation of the Permaculture Parking Lot in the UH Hilo Science and Technology Building Lanikaula Parking Lot adjacent to the Kumukoa House.
The project is supported by the UH Hilo Sustainability Committee, UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Global HOPE, The Agriculture Club, and over 500 students and faculty members: see supporter video here
“The purpose of this project is to create an educational venue for the different edible plants that can grow in Hawai’i. The Permaculture Parking Lot will inform and inspire students and community members,” said principal project designer Wade Bauer. Over 80 different types of edible plants will be going into the parking lot (for complete list see below)
Earth Day Fair founder a professor Dr. Noelie Rodriguez fully supported the project. “Students could gain both skills and a way to lower their food costs,” she said.
UH Hilo neighbor Justin Avery jokingly said, “It could be a parking lot and we’ll put up a paradise,.” “This project has been a team effort to grow food on campus and be an example for the community, it’s a real win-win“ Avery said.
Over the past 3 and a half years The Kumukoa House has been organizing ‘yard days,’ where students and community members work in the gardens all day with trained gardening and landscaping experts. In the past 2 years, with the blessing of UH Hilo, the project has extended to the parking lot. “This is using the momentum we have from the past years to launch this project,” said Avery.
Agroforestry and permaculture consultant Dave Sansone said, “It’s not often that you have people who know what they are doing stepping in and offering free services and free labor. I see a real win-win. This project goes from having this idea on paper to lead the way in sustainability to actually doing it.”
UH Hilo is joining the national trend by moving in the direction of sustainability. Alex Lyon, University of Massachusets student and Kumukoa House resident, sees how permaculture gardens can serve as a recruitment tool for the university. “From 2010 UMASS started a permaculture garden at the university and has attracted considerable amount of students to enroll. The food goes straight from the campus gardens into the dining hall. You look outside of the dining hall and see 6 permaculture gardens. Students enroll in UMASS because of the garden, it has become a center of the university,” Lyon said.
The Kumukoa House invited everybody to come out for Yard Days on the 1st and 3rd Saturday from 9am-3pm. Mahalo!