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  • Two Monkeypod Trees Planted In Thomas Square F Or Hawai‘i's Arbor Day

Two monkeypod trees planted in Thomas Square for Hawai‘i’s Arbor Day

HONOLULU – For 115 years, Hawai‘i has recognized the significance of planting and caring for our trees and forests by celebrating Arbor Day on the first Friday of November.

Even amidst the pandemic, the tradition of planting and giving away trees continues.

Today, Mayor Kirk Caldwell was joined by Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation Director Michele Nekota, Division of Urban Forestry Administrator Stan Oka, Department of Design and Construction Director Mark Yonamine and Deputy Director Haku Milles to finalize the planting of two monkeypod trees in the mauka section of Thomas Square.

“One of the silver linings of this pandemic has been the ability for much of our natural world to recuperate as destructive human activity has decreased,” said Mayor Caldwell. “We must always look for ways to balance our interaction with nature, and there is no better way to offset our carbon footprint or improve our world’s future than planting a tree. Healthy trees are the gift that keep on giving; whether you talk about environmental, economic, physical, or social benefits. I hope everyone takes a chance this weekend to be part of this tradition to improve our environment by planting a tree.”

Beginning today and tomorrow, various free tree giveaways are being held on O‘ahu, Maui, and Kaua‘i organized by Arbor Day Hawai‘i. For a list of those giveaway sites, times, and procedures visit Please remember that each site has specific instructions (reservations, walk-ins, drive-thru, etc.), and that wearing of a face mask is required at every location.

Need some tips on how to properly plant and care for your new tree? An instructional video can now be viewed by everyone as the 17
th episode of Nā Pāka ma ka Hale (Parks at Home), DPR’s at home video tutorial series designed to provide recreational and educational opportunities to our communities in this COVID era of physical distancing. Visit DPR’s YouTube Channel or click here to view that video.

Anyone planting trees on O‘ahu is encouraged to input that planting information into our tree planting map. Visit to provide that information and help us reach our goal of planting 100,000 trees by 2025!

In December 2017, Mayor Caldwell committed, via the Chicago Climate Charter, to the planting of 100,000 trees across the island of O‘ahu by 2025. In early March 2018, Mayor Caldwell committed to increasing the urban canopy coverage across O‘ahu to 35% by 2035. By late March 2018, City Council passed 
Resolution 18-055, in support of the effort to increase the city’s urban tree canopy to at least 35% by 2035. As a City, we are committed to this urban canopy goal.

As of mid-October 2020 the City and communities across O‘ahu have planted nearly 30,500 trees since making that December 2017 commitment.

Currently, Thomas Square is closed to the public while
Phase III renovations are ongoing. That Capital Improvement Project is scheduled to be finished, and the park reopened to the public, by spring 2021. Delays in the delivery of pathway lighting and other electric issues have resulted in this updated timeline. 

When it is reopened, this culturally significant location will enjoy a refurbished fountain, renovated bathroom facilities, improved lighting, new walkways, and four artwork pedestals.

If you need an auxiliary aid/service, other accommodations due to a disability, or an interpreter for a language other than English in reference to this announcement, please call DPR at (808) 768-3003 on weekdays from 7:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. or email

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