Scout completes Eagle project at the D.T. Fleming Arboretum

Aolama Chow pins the Mentor’s Pin on Rich Kuykendall of Pukalani, Chow’s piano teacher. In an Eagle Scout ceremony, the new Eagle Scout gifts the Mentor’s Pin to someone who has most influenced his life.

Aolama Chow of Boy Scout Troop 100 in Kula completed his Eagle Scout service project at the D.T. Fleming Arboretum at Pu’u Mahoe to earn the Boy Scouts of America’s highest honor — the Eagle Scout Award. The award ceremony was held at the arboretum on Aug. 12.

Eagle Scout rank requires Scouts to plan, organize and direct a community service project demonstrating commitment, skill and leadership. To become an Eagle Scout is a commitment for life to be a mentor and leader for the community.

Chow coordinated a three-day campout April 7 to 9 with Scouts from Troop 100 to accomplish his Eagle Scout service project — the construction of 20 steps connecting two trails in the Fleming Arboretum, accessing a new area for native plant expansion.

Project supplies were funded by Kaulunani Department of Forestry and the Maui County Office of Economic Development. Eucalyptus steps were supplied by South Pacific Lumber of Ulupalakua. Ulupalakua Ranch supplied additional parking for the celebration.

David Moran was Chow’s project mentor, teaching him the details of building steps and overseeing the project. Chow taught his crew of 35 volunteers, Scouts of Troop 100, to build steps with proper rise, depth and width, and the importance of soil compaction. Extra volunteers planted 30 feet of ti leaves along the trail at the base of the new steps and broadcast grass seed to control erosion.

The D.T. Fleming Arboretum at Pu’u Mahoe is a 17-acre cinder cone planted in 1952 as a plant recovery reserve and seed resource for native forest restoration. Today, the arboretum protects 170 native plant species, 40 of them endangered, and 14 designated Maui County Exceptional Trees. The arboretum is an education and conservation resource promoting youth and community group involvement in the preservation of Hawaii’s native plants, forests and wildlife habitat.

“With the importance of Pu’u Mahoe and the Fleming Arboretum is the importance of Aolama’s Eagle Project” stated Moran, Arboretum project manager. “Aolama’s project has progressed Pu’u Mahoe.”

Chow, the son of Clifford and Nara Chow of Kula, graduated this year from Kihei Charter School and is attending Seattle University.

“It was such an honor to spend a day of celebration at the arboretum with everyone who helped my scouting career flourish. I can’t be more grateful for those that helped me transform becoming an Eagle Scout from a dream to reality.”