HONOLULU– U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld today recognized Kim Johnson and her Kokua Hawaii Foundation for the organization’s work in Hawaii schools to encourage recycling and teaching environmental stewardship as part of the EPA Pacific Southwest region’s environmental awards program.
“EPA is pleased to honor Kim Johnson and the Kokua Hawaii Foundation for increasing environmental awareness and stewardship in our young people,” Blumenfeld said. “Their farm-to-school and plastic free initiatives teach students the value of taking care of their health and the health of the unique and precious Hawaii environment.”
The Foundation’s “AINA In Schools” program began in 2006, and focuses on:
• Addressing childhood health issues by fostering healthy eating habits;
• Encouraging environmental stewardship by connecting children to the land & water that sustains them;
• Contributing to a healthy local food system by supporting Hawaii’s farmers and their produce.
The Foundation also has a Plastic Free Hawaii schools program that provides resources, tools and training to educate school communities on the environmental and health benefits of going plastic free to minimize the consumption and pollution of single-use plastics in our schools and islands.
The Kokua Hawaii Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawaii. It was started in 2003 by Hawaii musician Jack Johnson and his wife, Kim, who serves as the Executive Director of the Foundation. Mrs. Johnson has combined educational theory and practice from her experience as a classroom teacher with her passion for the environment to lead a spirited, prolific and organized team that formulates hands-on interactive learning activities as the basis for all the Foundation’s environmental education programs.
The EPA Pacific Southwest region’s Environmental Awards program acknowledges commitment and significant contributions to the environment in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Pacific Islands and tribal lands. Groups and individuals were selected from nominees received this year from businesses, local, government officials, tribes, media, environmental organizations and community activists.