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Posted on Apr 28, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

(HONOLULU) – How do forests in Hawaiʻi inspire you? This was the question answered by dozens of students across the state who submitted entries in the ʻŌlelo Youth Xchange video competition under the category “Forest Inspired.”

Winning entries for the category, sponsored by the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), were announced at a ceremony April 20 at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center. The event, coordinated by ʻŌlelo Community Media, has been dubbed “the Emmys of Hawaiʻi” for students learning to express themselves through digital media.

The winning entry in the elementary school division was an animation focusing on the importance of preventing the spread of Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD). The video was submitted by Braeden Redira, a student at Pearl City Highlands Elementary, who drew and animated the video using open-source animation software.

Kaimukī Middle School provided the winning entry for the middle school division, titled “Ka Nahele O Ka Mokupuni: The Island’s Forest.” The four students featured in the video (Chloe Liu, Mirah Levine, Leila Manibo, and Sophia Tada) discuss how the forest inspires their artistic pursuits, including dance, photography, and painting.

The students also share how forests help them relieve stress, promote quality time with their family and friends, and bring back fond childhood memories of times outdoors.

The high school category winner was “Ola Kākou I ka ‘Āina,” a video by Anuhea Vida at Kamehameha Schools Maui. Her video describes how forests are inherently connected to people, helping them to prosper and grow. The video features footage of Maui’s forests with an oli paying homage to Kāne and elements of the forest, as well as interviews with Kamehameha Schools staff discussing how forests sustain and connect communities.

“The student videos this year were absolutely incredible,” said Josh Atwood, Information and Education Coordinator for DOFAW. “Seeing how students connect with our forests, combined with the skills they are developing in communications and advocacy, gives me hope for the future. Our forests are going to be in good hands.”

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(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)

Winning entries in the Forest Inspired category:

ʻŌlelo Youth Xchange 2022 contest details and video entries:

Media Contact:

Madison Rice

Communications Specialist

Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources

[email protected]

808-587-0396 (Communications Office)