Banking On Native Trees In Kaneohe

Central Pacific Bank recently donated and planted more than 5,000 Native Hawaiian trees and plants for Hui Ku Maoli Ola, native Hawaiian plant specialists, and its affiliated nonprofit Papahana Kualoa in Heeia.

This project is part of CPB’s campaign to offer native Hawaiian foliage to be planted on behalf of its customers who switched from traditional paper to online statements. Nearly 14,000 native Hawaiian trees and plants have been donated overall since the program’s start in 2010 to help with the reforestation efforts.

The second planting took place Feb. 18 at Papahana Kualoa and even Alex, CPB’s Shetland sheepdog mascot, made his debut appearance since returning to the bank’s ads. Vice president and product manager Lance Ming called it a way for the bank to move toward being green and to encourage its customers to do the same.

Mark Schirman, co-owner of Hui Ku Maoli Ola and director of Papahana Kualoa, explains that the cheapest and most practical way of protecting our water supply is through invasive species control and the replanting of native plants.

“Going along with the whole discussion of sustainability in Hawaii, the two things most talked about are food and electricity,” he said. “And the one thing we always forget about is water. Water really is an essential thing for basic living, and we can’t have a good source of food without water.”

Hui Ku Maoli Ola is located at 46-403 Haiku Road in Kaneohe and conducts working days on the third Saturday of each month through the rest of the year. The community is welcome to participate in the reforestation efforts.

To join the green cause, call 285-9335.