Sierra Club to honor 5 Mauians

Five Mauians, including the late planner Chris Hart, will be honored for their work to preserve Maui’s environment by the Maui Group of the Sierra Club at its annual meeting from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Kaunoa Senior Center in Spreckelsville.

The public is invited to the event, a free picnic-style lunch.

Each year, the Sierra Club gives awards to community members, who have been working to preserve Maui’s clean water, ocean access and quality of life.

Two Mauians will be presented with the ‘Onipa’a award for long-term contributions to protect the island’s natural and cultural resources. The winners are:

* Clare Apana of Wailuku for her longtime advocacy for Maui’s cultural sites.

* Michael Howden for his years of work on water issues and advocacy for sustainable agriculture. Howden, an Olinda resident, has been involved in permaculture education for the past several decades and also served as chairman of the county Board of Water Supply.

The Malama ka ‘Aina award, recognizing outstanding work in caring for the land, will go to Mark Hyde, a retired attorney from South Maui for his leadership in citizen efforts to compel proper planning and permitting for a proposed outlet mall in north Kihei.

Mike Perry will be presented with the Malama Kahakai award for his work in preserving beaches and near-shore waters. He has cleared invasive species and replanted native species in the Kanaha Beach area, turning it into a showcase original Hawaiian beach.

For the first time, the Sierra Club is awarding the “Ike Imua” to Hart, a longtime landscape architect and planner, who died in November. He had a long history of dedication to planning for Maui’s parks, bikeways and open spaces. He also was the guiding force behind the original draft of the Maui Island Plan.

In addition to the awards, Maui legislators will give updates on bills affecting the environment. Hawaii Sierra Club Executive Director Robert Harris and Maui Group Chairman Chris Taylor will discuss Sierra Club accomplishments in 2012 and what is on tap for 2013.

For more information, go to