Hui o Laka Annual Meeting

Come join us at our C.C.C. Camp 10am Saturday, November 28 for a morning of show and tell regarding Hui o Laka’s past year of operation and see the vision for the next year.  Come early, at 9am for refreshments and to socialize. Kokua Koke‘e program director Brad Soria will be providing a tour of the nature trail after the meeting. We invite our members to visit the Koke‘e Museum and see all the changes made over the past year by the museum committee and staff, most notably in the shop.



Termite Treatment

News flash! Koke‘e Museum will be closed November 8 to 9, 2015. We’ve been waiting for some time for this really important event to happen. Koke‘e does have termites and they’ve been infecting the old state parks buildings in the meadow. Although the altitude slows them down a bit compared to sea level, they still do steady damage on structures and their contents. Nearly all of them will be closed at some time between November 8 and 10th while Aloha Termite Co. tents each building. C.C.C. Camp will also be part of the project and half will be done one night and the other the next. Koke‘e Lodge will also be treated. The dates are weather dependant.



Major 2015 Projects Supported by Grants and Donations


CCC Camp Restoration Project

$26,000 Grant-in-Aid Capital Improvement from the State of Hawai‘i

$12,000 SW Wilcox Trust

$10,000 Freeman Foundation

$2,000 Waimakua Foundation

Kokua Koke‘e Program Funding 2015

Includes improvements to the Nature Trail and signage:

$20,000 Hawaii Tourism Authority

$2,000 Waimakua Foundation

$2,000 John H. R. Plews

$3,000 SW Wilcox Trust

Koke‘e Museum Exhibits

$10,000 Grant-in-Aid Operations from the State of Hawai‘i

$5,000 SW Wilcox Trust

$2,250 Waimakua Foundation

Banana Poka

$8,000 HTA – Kau ‘i County CPEP Program

Eo e Emalani i Alaka‘i

$15,000 HTA – Kaua‘i County CPEP Program

$13,325 Kekaha Host Community Benefits Program

Endowment Fund

$1,500 Joan Pratt

Unrestricted Donations Over $1000

$5,000 EHW Broadbent Foundation

$6,000 Joan Pratt (not including donations from her friends and family in her name)





New state-of-the-art internet phones were installed in Hui o Laka’s Administration Office by Hawaiian Telcom. It was a happy day when we took down the satellite dish internet system that wasn’t too much faster than the old dial-up. The new office phone extensions are listed on our website. The museum can be reached at the old number, (808) 335-9975 extension “0” or by calling direct at (808) 335-3353. If you’re paying by credit card for camp reservations, shop merchandise by phone, or membership please call the shop direct as they have the credit card machine. 


CCC Camp Reservations - ext 1


Michelle Hookano - ext 2


Rosalind Thompson - ext 3


Christine Faye - ext 4




No, it’s not our favorite team. Hui o Laka exemplifies care for the environment and we’re trying to convert our membership communications to electronic sendings. It saves us a large amount of valuable money and our members can receive shorter and more frequent mailings. We’ve had a rough start this year with many changes including rebuilding our membership database. Due to miscommunications, some of you received electronic newsletters and those with no email contacts didn’t receive any. It still doesn’t work as well as we would like it, but we have a much better handle on the lists. This letter is going out by email and mail to make sure we find all of you.  Do let us know, at if you do or don’t want eletters. Please don’t hesitate in contacting us with any omissions and corrections. Hui o Laka really values its members.


We have been updating our website and have a very lively Facebook page 


Looking Forward


2016 will see a number of changes in the exhibits at Koke‘e Museum. Grants have been written, with more to follow, to fund new interpretive plans to make your visit to Koke‘e more rewarding. We take our role in providing hospitality and providing learning resources for Koke‘e State Park seriously. The beginning of that change occurred in 2015 – a new plan – and some rudimentary blocking in of what will take place in 2016 for outdoor displays and integration of the Nature Trail, Laka’s forest, into the interpretation. Tours of the Nature Trail are under development as well as cultural exhibits. 


The CCC Camp’s development as a forest camp retreat and learning experience has been underway. Those ideas will start to crystallize into concrete activities and programs into 2016 and beyond.


We look forward to seeing more of our members in the coming year. It is your support that gives us the heart to keep growing.





Hui o Laka - Koke'e Museum

P.O. Box 100.Kekaha.HI.96752



November 11, 2015


Aloha Andy!

 The photograph above, taken by Mary Williamson, shows Andy Jasper and his wife Justine enjoying their lei including maile lau li‘i and hydrangea with Wai Kuapahi.


One of the spark plugs in Koke‘e Museum’s re-energization has been HoL Trustee Andy Jasper. Originally from Cornwall, England, Andy was fulfilling some extraordinary tasks at National Tropical Botanical Garden [NTBG] when he accepted a position on Hui o Laka’s board. Hui o Laka was lucky to benefit from his talent and energy as a trustee the past two years. He and his family are returning to Great Britain in December to head the Capital Investment Program at the Royal Horticultural Society. Hui o Laka Trustees honored him with a local-style tea at the CCC Camp at their last scheduled meeting in November.


Earlier this year, in January, Andy led Hui o Laka’s trustees in a design charette for the Kōke‘e Museum.  This followed a morning of shifting around the floor plan in the museum. It was his enthusiasm that broke down the barriers figuratively and literally. For the museum, it was a radical change that left many repeat visitors and even the staff a bit stunned. It has proven to be a good first step. It was only the beginning.


In August, Andy again spearheaded a major start in a design idea that was born in the January charrette. A gateway was created to the Nature Trail behind the museum with the help of staff from HoL, the State Parks crew, and NTBG. Volunteers included trustees, a family from Kekaha doing a service project, and Andy’s family. There were jobs for all ages. When they were done, the beginnings of an outdoor Forest Discovery Zone were the result. So when you visit Kōke‘e museum, don’t forget to look behind the museum too!


A hui hou Andy and best wishes for the Jasper family on their new adventure!


Annual Holiday Wreath Making Workshop

Our eagerly awaited wreath making workshop takes place Saturday, December 5 at 10am. We check-in at Koke‘e Museum and then go out to collect plant materials. Wear appropriate clothing. We have gloves and some clippers. Please bring your own if you prefer tools you are used to. If you have decorations you wish to use, bring those as well. After lunch the real fun begins as HoL volunteers show how to make a wreath and help you along the way with your own project. The cost is $25 for the workshop and you must be a current HoL member. You can go on our website: or pay that day in the Gift Shop. If you are unsure of your status please email:



Kupuna Make Their Mark on the 2015 Eo e Emalani


Right: Kupuna arrive in style aboard an Akita School Bus. As they leave, one of the kumu, Charlani Kalama greets one of the bus riders, a former dancer and friend of her mother’s. Left: “Queen” Nalani Brun dances for the audience before a large crowd in Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow. Check out Koke‘e Museum’s Facebook page for more photographs.


The 2015 Eo e Emalani i Alaka‘i was a resounding success. Not because the crowd was large or that parking was gone before 11am or even that there were surprise performances by kumu in the audience. It was because of an Akita school bus full of kupuna from Anahola to Kekaha that arrived via funding from Kekaha Host Community Benefits funding. Without the shuttle, they wouldn’t have enjoyed the day at Koke‘e as few drive anymore.  A local agency, Alu Like, Inc., assisted Hui o Laka with this experiment and suggested the Kaua‘i Bus connection for the küpuna from the eastside of the island. Alu Like seniors make up a large number of our volunteers for the day.


Hui o Laka learned a lot about the shuttle service through surveys. Overwhelmingly, they wanted to be at Koke‘e for the beginning of the event at 10am and depart about 1am. Very few lasted to the last shuttle at 4pm. We also surveyed the general audience and asked them about shuttling next year. There seems to be a strong interest but, unfortunately, the Kaua‘i Bus does not provide service to Koke‘e. So Hui o Laka would have to rent a bus. The least expensive option is a school bus at roughly half the cost of an air-conditioned tour bus. Many of those surveyed were willing to pay $5, a fraction of the $30 cost for a school bus. With the extremely limited parking, a shuttle is the only option for the community to really take advantage of this really wonderful event in the future. We can consider special parking areas for van or bus car-pooling. Anyone having solutions for shuttling, please email or call Hui o Laka at (808) 335-9975 ext 4 with your ideas.



Museum News

If you are enjoying the day at Koke‘e, don’t forget to visit Koke‘e Museum. As many of you know, we’ve been making changes. Rodney Taketa and Bradley Soria made us some rustic chairs carved out of the 1935 vintage Cyprus trees recently felled near the Ranger’s Station. In the works is a konane board carved into an extremely large stump. Recycle and reuse!


Most of the lights in the museum have been switched out for LED spot lights. Besides saving energy and lasting much longer than fluorescent bulbs, there are no dangerous UV light emissions on our taxidermy and artwork. They are cool to the touch, have no mercury in them, and made of plastic so less chance of glass shattering when working with them.


Outside, on the Museum’s back lawn are some new features in the works for a Forest Discovery Zone, a mix of play and learning for our visiting families. Trustee Andy Jaspar brought his family and several of his coworkers from NTBG to assist at the workday on August 29. Come take your selfies at the new tree gateway to the Nature Trail. Staffer Alby Schraepfer has been busy hatching chickens and other birds made out of tires – thanks to Sharron Weber at Tire Warehouse Kaua‘i. It will take a while for all the ideas to come to fruition so take a peek when you're visiting to see our progress.


The gift shop has been very busy! Our hard work is paying off. We have a number of new books in along with must-haves for Hawaiiana book collectors. There is a nice range of Koke‘e and Waimea Canyon State Park branded items for sale now including a great reusable shopping bag with colorful photos of our favorite place! A new line of handcrafted gold and silver filled wire jewelry, some embellished with fresh water pearls, is made by Donna Cockett and a hit with visitors.


The new trail map on the porch was installed in late May and seems to be working out quite well. 


Stay at the CCC Camp & Join in on a Service Project


It was a busy summer season for the historic camp. Koke‘e Resource Conservation Program and our own Kokua Koke‘e Program kept mainland groups along with local church, school, and college program participants busy weeding and trimming back invasive plants on Koke‘e trails.    


This October we hosted the combined Rotary Clubs of Kaua‘i as they put on a retreat for their youth program.


We’ve upgraded our two cottages and are catching up with some appliance maintenance issues. This winter, some large painting projects are planned including the wheelchair ramps and porches when we get a sunny spell. 


Shop Point of Sales

We are migrating to a new system at the end of November into December so please have patience as the staff will be training and relearning their sales tasks. Luckily the system is now set up in the HoL office and we are trying to work out the bugs prior to installation in the museum. This is all to make shopping in the future at Koke‘e Museum a better experience. Technology is always a struggle at Koke‘e State Park due to its remoteness. This is only possible due to the new telephone-internet system that now links HoL office to the 21st century.