3 isle programs honored for conservation efforts
They are among 160 nominees for the southwest U.S. region
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized Moanalua Gardens Foundation, Grace Pacific Corp. and Ho'oulu Lahui, a traditional Hawaiian educational center in Pahoa, for programs to preserve and protect the environment in 2005.
The Hawaii winners were among 160 nominees for the EPA Region 9 awards, which included California, Arizona, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and tribal lands. The eighth annual ceremony recently took place in San Francisco.
The Moanalua Gardens Foundation, founded in 1970, was recognized for safeguarding Moanalua Valley from the construction of the H-3 freeway, thus preserving 3,700 acres of land.
Also cited were its award-winning Partners in Education program, which provided public elementary schools students with lessons on ecology, geology and geography.
Grace Pacific, the fourth-largest construction firm in Hawaii, initiated a program aimed at reducing air emissions from its large fleet of diesel-powered equipment, increasing energy efficiency, and decreasing fuel consumption by replacing and re-powering vehicles and equipment more than five years old.
Ho'oulu Lahui, a nonprofit educational organization on the Big Island, uses an ancient Hawaiian village within its 600 coastal acres as a cultural and environmental learning center. Its partnership with Kua O Ka La Public Charter School includes plans for the first totally solar-driven school in the state.