A couple holding shovels under a tree

Two-thousand native trees and counting…

Joe Imhoff hopes to change the world, one tree at a time. The Maui resident has been planting a native tree every night throughout the island. His efforts are rooted in a public awareness project called Plant a Wish, which he and his wife co-founded a few years back.

The pair of tree enthusiasts have actually covered a lot of ground. They branched out to all 50 states, planting a native tree in each – from an oak to an ohia. While the initial planting took two years to complete, a documentary is still in the works. Volunteers jotted down a wish on scraps of paper before burying it with the new tree; hence, Plant a Wish.

Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. Joe was selected as a finalist for the Hawaii Ecotour Guide of the Year. He was up against two other environmentally-savvy inpiduals – Andy of Kailua and Arthur from the Hawaii Island. Voting has been closed, and the winner will be announced later today after the awards luncheon.

Also after the luncheon, there’ll be a huge native tree planting event on the hotel premises. It’s no surprise that Joe coordinated the whole thing. After all, he’s the one with the green thumb.

But no matter the winner, all of their efforts deserve to be recognized. They’ve done amazing things for the environment – here and abroad. And most importantly, they’ve set the stage for upcoming generations – inspiring them to be more than just green but to get out there and promote sustainability in the islands.

Photo Courtesy: howerphoto.com

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