New West Maui teachers get introduction to Lahaina’s history and culture from LRF

Lahaina Restoration Foundation volunteer staff member Greg Gluz (from left) and members of the LRF Community Education Committee, Leslie Hiraga and Aileen Trout, are shown at Banyan Tree Park in Lahaina. They were part of a recent “History In Our Back Yard” tour for new West Maui teachers. -- LOUISA SHELTON photo

Lahaina Restoration Foundation for the past 13 years has provided its free “History In Our Back Yard” tour to new teachers from west side schools.

Reaching more than 240 educators over the years, LRF shares Lahaina’s rich history and culture through this program. Recently, 14 West Maui teachers took advantage of the opportunity to visit 30 historical sites while learning about the prominent role Lahaina has played throughout Hawaii’s history.

LRF’s Community Education Committee continues this annual tradition through the volunteer efforts of Co-Chairs Karee Carlucci and Louisa Shelton, committee members Leslie Hiraga, Aileen Trout, Lee Ann Shigezawa, Richard “Noosh” Nishihara and Lori Gomez-Karinen, and the support of LRF staff and board of directors.

“Our volunteer group and tour partners really help to make this tour,” said Shelton. “We extend mahalos to MauiGrown Coffee for contributing the morning beverage, Take Home Maui for a healthy fruit platter for the midmorning break, Star Noodle for graciously donated bentos for lunch, and The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas for the air-conditioned comfort of a shuttle for the road portion of the tour.”

LRF provided other refreshments and gave each teacher a reusable tote bag filled with a virtual binder of tour resource material to use in the classroom, an OfficeMax gift card, a complimentary pass to visit the Baldwin Home and Wo Hing Museums, LRF brochures and information about the supporting business partners.

“As part of LRF’s mission to offer educational activities related to Lahaina’s history, this community-sponsored and focused tour is designed to assist teachers by providing them with a better sense of place as new members of our Lahaina community,” Carlucci said. “We certainly appreciate the time they take from their busy schedules to participate.”

The program is primarily a walking tour in the heart of Lahaina led by Carlucci and joined by partners along the way who share their knowledge and passion for their organizations’ programs. Wainani Kealoha from Maui Nei Native Expeditions welcomed the group at the Moku’ula Restoration Site and Tama Kaleleiki of Na Kia’i O Waine’e Komite did the same for Waine’e Cemetery and Waiola Church.

The bus ride allowed viewing of more sites, including Hale Pa’i Museum, where LRF docent Jackie Hala discussed the printed word in Hawaii and demonstrated use of the printing press, and the Jodo Mission, where Nishihara provided a talk on the Buddhist sects that were introduced to Maui during the plantation era.

The last stop was at Hale Pa’ahao for a relaxed lunch in the shade of the Old Prison yard.

For more information about the foundation or how to get involved, call the LRF office at 661-3262 or go to