On April 20th, First Insurance's Growing Greener Together initiative hosted a lunch & learn presentation about native Hawaiian plants featuring experts from the University of Hawaii’s Plant Extinction Prevention Program (PEPP).
Kobey Togikawa and Miles Thomas shared their knowledge of Hawaii’s natural history and endemic plants and covered some of the challenges they face protecting rare plants in Hawaii, which has the highest number of threatened and endangered species in the nation. They also shared guidelines to follow to safeguard the unique flora found in Hawaii. When in the presence of rare plants, they encourage Hawaii residents and visitors to:
- Keep your distance
- Respect the law
- Do not collect any plant material, seeds or seedlings
- Use discretion
- Be mindful when photographing (i.e. do not post or share rare plant location information on social media)
- Practice hiking protocols that protect rare plants and their environment
First Insurance capped off Earth Week by giving away 200 native Hawaiian seedlings to associates on April 22nd. Provided by Hui Ku Maoli Ola nursery in Kaneohe, the eight plant varieties given away included ‘Akia, ‘Akulikuli, Alahe’e, ‘Ilima, Nanea, Palapalai, Pohinahina, and ‘Ulei.