In anticipation of “The Lorax” movie opening March 2, a national restaurant chain has been giving away bookmarks with seeds of blue-spruce and Canadian white pine.
A press release dated February 21st 2012 explains the program: “In keeping with the animated adventure’s theme that one person can make a difference, IHOP is distributing three million limited-edition bookmarks embedded with seed paper that can be planted to flourish across a range of climates and forest condition.”
It’s great to encourage kids to plant trees. Unfortunately these aren’t the Truffula trees that the Lorax fought to protect. Planting alien trees in Hawai‘i can be tricky. The characteristics of the bookmark trees that allow them flourish across a range of climates and forest conditions can also help them invade and outcompete native species. In Hawai‘i pines have a reputation of escaping cultivation into high-elevation ecosystems. Think twice before planting these pines in our forests. As the voiceover from the movie trailer says when the boy receives the last seed of the Truffula tree, “It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.”
After concerns were raised, distribution of the seeds was discontinued in Hawaii.
Make the Lorax proud and plant a tree that is regionally appropriate to the area. Find suggestions of native Hawaiian plants here: www.nativeplants.hawaii.edu
And on a final note: ever notice how a lehua blossom on an ‘ōh‘ia looks a bit like a Truffula tree?
The Ho’ike o Haleakala Steering Committee will be hosting a series of one- and two-day teacher’s workshops starting in January 2012.
Join us in exploring exciting new lessons that spotlight native and invasive species issues on Maui. You will leave with innovative tools for teaching native Hawaiian science in the classroom and field. Commit to testing these materials in your classroom and receive a $75 stipend.
One day workshops:
Two day workshop:
R.S.V.P required. Workshops run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC) Headquarters in Pi’iholo. Space is limited; call 573-6472 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot and for directions.
The one-day workshops will include hands-on experience and demonstration. The two-day February workshop adds a native Hawaiian forest hike and participants will receive an advance hard copy of Ho’ike o Haleakala’s new Invasive Species Module, including multimedia components and game pieces.
A sampling of the activities we will cover:
Come learn how to use Hawaii as a perfect natural laboratory for your students.
Mark your calendar!
If you can’t attend the workshop, but would like to test these activities, email email@example.com or call (808) 573-MISC.