Yesterday the 7th grade visited the W.S. Merwin conservancy in Haiku. The purpose of the Conservancy is to preserve the Earth. About 40 years ago Mr. Merwin purchased a 19 acre field of shrubs and grass. The land was previously a pineapple field. To preserve the field Mr. Merwin decided to give back to the earth by planting a plant a day. As he began his work he discovered that the plants he selected to grow would not thrive. The problem was that the soil was destroyed due to bad farming methods by the pineapple growers.
Mr. Merwin found out that because of the poor soil no other plant species could grow except palm plants. The palm trees had a good effect on the soil by making it fertile again. He also found out that mango trees were very good for the soil but hindered the growth of the palm trees because they blocked the sun. Later on Mr. Merwin hired people to remove the mango trees and the palm trees started to thrive.
One thing we learned was that the garden was composed of a variety of mini ecosystems that gave life to all types of palm species. We also learned that damaged land can be improved and preserved by listening to what the land wants. That is what Mr. Merwin did to preserve the land here.