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May 15, 2013

Volunteers Plant Keiki Silversword on Mauna Kea

OMKM Continues to Malama Mauna Kea  

OMKM community volunteers helped pull invasive weeds and planted a hundred Mauna Kea silversword this past weekend.


Organized by OMKM Natural Resources Program Manager Fritz Klasner, this ongoing effort of restoring native habitat is focused around the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station on Mauna Kea at the 9,500 foot elevation.

  first planting

"Planting silversword keiki will help ensure the species existence on Mauna Kea for future generations. This was made possible by a record number of volunteers this past Saturday who came out to help take care of the mountain," said OMKM Natural Resources Program Manager Fritz Klasner. "We started these invasive weed pull events at the 9,500 foot elevation last year and we've since logged over 1,500 volunteer hours. This past Saturday was our first replanting of native habitat."


The State of Hawaii, Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) made the seedlings available to plant, provided planting instructions, and obtained needed permits. The keiki silverswords were planted in the Division's Silversword Enclosure near the Visitor Information Station.  


The Mauna Kea silversword is a member of the silversword alliance, a group of endemic Hawaiian plants that scientists believe all evolved from a single plant species which originated in North America several million years ago.  

group planting

  Silversword planting















MaunaKea silversword grown naturally in the wild can live for over fifty years. The nearly 100 silversword planted on Saturday were grown in a DOFAW nursery. Once they establish a firm root system, which should take about a year, each plant is expected to live on Mauna Kea anywhere from thirty to fifty years.


The community volunteers began the day preparing planting locations, pulled invasive fireweed in the Silversword Enclosure, and then planted each silversword with a bit of love.


OMKM anticipates having additional silversword planting days in the near future. Watch for volunteer announcements in this newsletter.  

Check out the great volunteer planting of Mauna Kea silversword!
Hawaii News Now Television Coverage

Hawaii News Now Television Coverage




    The Office of Mauna Kea Management

is charged with day-to-day management of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve as prescribed in the Master Plan. The adoption of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve Master Plan by the University of  Hawaii Board of Regents in June 2000 marked a critical milestone in the management of Mauna Kea.


Meetings and public hearings spanning a period of nearly two years went into the formulation of the Master Plan, which established management guidelines for the next 20 years. The Master Plan reflected the community's deeply rooted concerns over the use of Mauna Kea, including respect for Hawaiian cultural beliefs, protection of environmentally sensitive habitat, recreational use of the mountain, and astronomy research.


It places the focus of responsibility with the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH). The UH-Hilo Chancellor established the Office of Mauna Kea Management and the Board of Regents established the Mauna Kea Management Board in the fall of 2000. The Mauna Kea Management Board in turn formed Kahu Ku Mauna, a council comprised of Hawaiian cultural resource persons to serve as advisors.

mauna kea OMKM Mission

To achieve harmony, balance and trust in the sustainable management and stewardship of Mauna Kea Science Reserve through community involvement and programs that protect, preserve and enhance the natural, cultural and recreational resources of Mauna Kea while providing a world-class center dedicated to education, research and astronomy.