At a private event today, invited Guests witnessed and toured demonstration projects and classroom work in the field of sustainability at the Launch of 'Ho`ouluwehi, The Sustainable Living Institute of Kaua`i." Tours included an Aquaponics field growing fresh fish and produce, A new site for the Affordable/Sustainable Living Housing project, Renewable Energy projects including a wind turbine and also photo voltaic curriculum, The Bee Apiary and Honey production site and the Rural Farm Development Community Garden.
Chancellor Helen A. Cox and The Hawaiian Studies Students of Instructor Pua Rossi welcomed invited guests with an `Oli Aloha as Honorable Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr, Mayor of Kaua`i gave the official Pule and Blessing. This opening event culminates three years of work internally by the Kaua`i Community College staff and Faculty to set into place the three corners of the Chancellor's sustainability platform in Sustainability for Kaua`i's benefit; Improved and Ongoing Curriculum, Community Partnerships and Demonstration Projects.
After the blessing the students of the Hawaiian Studies classe of Instructor, Faculty member Pua Rossi entertained guests with a Hula Nawiliwili telling the story of our neighborhood harbor. Her father Mark Rossi accompanied the student dancers with music. Faculty Member Rossi then told a brief Hawaiian history of the Puhi area and David Pratt concluded with a short history of Plantation days and the development of the college from Grove Farm Lands.
Introducing the Executive Director Eric Knutzen, the Chancellor outlined the process of many years of working with partners in the community, working internally to reduce the college's own carbon footprint and finally working with the University to create an institute and hire a new director. She and Mr. Knutzen then began the 'happy' task of appointing a Visionary and Cultural leadership which would ask for community direction with a new steering group made up of persons both within the Kaua'i CC faculty and also within the environmental, conservation and sustainable living organizations.
"The goal of bringing in community organizations in partnerships," says Chancellor Cox, "is not only to further the campus and University goal of providing education, and training to create new Green jobs on Kaua`i, but also to provide an academic setting and place where demonstrations and applied research may take place." "Such applied research might not be possible in the private business sector, but more easily applied in demonstrations working with students first."
Mr. Knutzen then spoke about the goals of the institute in bringing people together to brainstorm and work together in projects that benefit the entire island, maybe even the world at large. He then outlined several ideas for types of projects already in development.
Guests were invited to join in a celebration of food and wine served by Students of the Kaua`i Cullinary Arts Department under the direction of Faculty Chef Martina Hilldorfer. A Farm to Table demonstration using fresh foods from the Community Garden was presented as well as fresh foods from several local sustainable farming industries on Kauai.