DLNR NEWS RELEASE: Cool your schools – with a little help from nature

Posted on Jun 14, 2016 in Latest Department News

Urban forestry cost-share grant program helps schools plant trees

HONOLULU —   Another long-lasting and economical tool to help schools keep their classrooms cool is by planting shade trees in strategic locations on school campuses to maximize their shading and cooling potential.

The Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program and the Department Division of Forestry and Wildlife are offering an opportunity for Hawai`i schools to help cool campuses and improve student’s health and wellbeing as well as learning and behavior outcomes. The newly launched “Cool Your School” cost-share grant program offers funding for schools to plant trees on campus with technical support on their care and maintenance.

Classroom air temperatures have become a valid point of concern for teachers in Hawai`i with some classroom temperatures reaching the high 90’s. Almost any sunny day you can drive by a school and if students are outside they are often congregated under the cool shade of a tree. Schools, with proper planning, can make use of nature’s own “air conditioner” – trees!

Studies have shown that trees can cool a classroom by up to 10 °F.  Trees block penetrating direct sunlight, reducing ambient temperatures and the process of transpiration uses up solar energy that would otherwise heat the air. The calming effect of trees also promotes additional learning, behavioral and health benefits such as higher scores on standardized testing, fewer disciplinary problems, lower levels of stress, better concentration and fewer sick days.

Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. The Kaulunani Council will review pre-proposals and selected schools will be asked to submit a full proposal. Kaulunani staff will work with the selected schools to assist with tree selection, locations for planting trees, cost estimates and preparation of the grant application.

For pre-proposal form and additional application information visit the program website: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/lap/kaulunani/grants/  Program Contact: Jolie Wanger, [email protected], (808) 395-7765.

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Resourceshttps://www.dropbox.com/sh/trr21mnhpc6wmlo/AADF9R7iRS0af-jgzGeC3JVca?dl=0  (2 Images by Jolie Wanger, Kaulunani; 1 by Heidi Bornhorst)

For more information news media may contact:

Jolie Wanger


Phone: (808) 395-7765

Deborah Ward

DLNR Communications specialist

Phone: (808) 587-0320