Categorized | Agriculture, Education

Fruit Tree Planting Foundation to add 176 trees to Hawaii Island schools


The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF) launches “Fruit Tree 101” program to provide students, families, and communities with fruit trees to improve nutrition and environmental conditions

The award-winning international nonprofit Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, which operates a local branch on the Big Island, has just launched an ongoing effort to provide island schools, families, and communities with the bounty of tropical fruit trees through a series of orchard plantings at schools in Kona, Kohala, and Puna. The first of many future plantings, participating schools will use the trees for outdoor learning opportunities to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards and provide fresh, healthy produce for school lunches in the process.

Forty-four different varieties of fruit trees will be planted across all the schools, including citrus, abiu, acerola, avocado, breadfruit, fig, loquat, mango, starfruit, Brazilian plum, jaboticaba, mountain apple, soursop, Surinam cherry, jackfruit, lychee, rollinia, cacao, guava, sapote, eggfruit, and rambutan—giving the students a veritable fruit salad at their fingertips. Lessons on the importance of trees for the environment and workshops on tree care will be provided at each location, with local permaculture organizations such as HIP Agriculture (Kohala) and Malama Aina Permaculture (Puna) partnering to provide their expertise. Future plantings will focus on both schools and community groups (interested organizations are encouraged to apply for the program at

The current set of projects are made possible through generous support from the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation and Herb Joseph of Lower Puna, and will include the following schools:

  • Kealakehe Intermediate School (Kona): Sept 17 (9:15 am) / 40 trees
  • Kahakai Elementary School (Kona): Sept 18 (8:30 am) / 21 trees
  • Kona Pacific Public Charter School: Sept 18 (2:30 pm) / 10 trees
  • Mountain View Elementary School (Mountain View): Sept 20 (10 am) / 25 trees
  • Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science PCS (Pahoa): Sept 21 (9 am) / 30 trees
  • Kohala High School (Hawi): Sept 25 (9 am) / 50 trees

“Schools and community groups are realizing the importance of creating access to healthy fresh foods and have really jumped into the food sovereignty movement. We are honored to help kick-start these efforts with families on the Big Island for many years to come,” said FTPF’s TreeEO Cem Akin.

About the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation

The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF) is an international nonprofit charity with a local presence in lower Puna, dedicated to planting fruitful trees and plants to alleviate world hunger, combat global warming, strengthen communities, and improve the surrounding air, soil, and water. FTPF programs strategically donate orchards where the harvest will best serve communities for generations, at places such as public schools, city parks, low-income neighborhoods, Native American reservations, and international hunger relief sites. FTPF’s unique mission, which has been featured in major publications across the country, benefits the environment, human health, and community involvement—all at once!

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