Honolulu Tree Planting & Stewardship
In 1913, it was reported that the Queen Emma Summer Palace was to be demolished, and the trees were to be cut down to put in a baseball park. The Daughters of Hawaii and the Outdoor Circle joined forces, and convinced the Honolulu Board of Supervisors to visit the home and grounds with them, where they were able to verbally “paint” a picture of a beautifully restored home with gardens replanted. The Supervisors were won over, and over the next several years, the Outdoor Circle set about restoring the grounds with Hawaiian trees and plantings, and the Daughters of Hawaii refurbished the home with Queen Emma’s possessions and other memorabilia of her era. When it was opened to the public, the people of Hawaii were able to see first-hand a glimpse of history! s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com
In 1925, Governor Charles McCarthy asked for the Outdoor Circle’s help in developing plans for the Ala Moana Beach Park area, then used by the city as a dumping ground. Mrs.Walter F. Dillingham, Outdoor Circle President at the time, agreed, and was instrumental in creating the current park plan, with tree-filled spaces, open lawns and promenades for all to enjoy. In the 1930’s, the Outdoor Circle spearheaded a campaign to have grammar schools throughout Oahu sprout 4,000 coconuts for planting around the park’s lagoon. The Outdoor Circle’s nursery at Kapiolani Park provided 2,000 mock orange plants for the six tennis courts, and Outdoor Circle members donated and planted dozens of the magnificent trees that grace the park today. s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com
In 1963, at the request of then Governor John Burns, the Outdoor Circle took on the task of renovating the plantings and beautifying the grounds at Washington Place. In the following years, our volunteers continued as landscaping advisors to Governor George Ariyoshi’s wife, as well as to serve as guides for scheduled tours of the historic home’s gardens. s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com
In 1914, the grounds of Iolani Palace, then called the Executive Building, were in great disrepair, and the Outdoor Circle stepped in to refurbish the landscaping. In a major undertaking by our volunteers, diseased trees were removed, new trees were planted, the lawns were reseeded, foot paths were constructed, and benches were placed on the grounds. Again, in 1922 and 1923, the Outdoor Circle undertook another major renovation of the landscaping of the Palace grounds. s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com
It is believed the stone wall at Punahou School was originally built by Hawaiian chiefs and the Night-Blooming Cereus was planted in 1836 by Sybil Bingham, wife of one of the first missionaries to Hawaii, the Reverend Hiram Bingham. The story is that a cutting was brought to Honolulu by Charles Brewer, the first mate on the Ivanhoe, who had picked it from Mexico en route to Hawaii. Only a single clipping survived the journey, which was given to Mrs. Bingham. Eventually the entire hedge was planted, almost half a mile in length in 1907, becoming one of the most impressive night-blooming cacti hedges in the country. However, in 1923, the beautiful hedge was scheduled for removal, due to road widening on Punahou Street, and the poor condition of the wall itself. The Outdoor Circle opposed the destruction of the hedge, and through their efforts, only a portion of the hedge was removed, and they were able to secure about 1500 cuttings, which were transplanted to Red Hill. You can still see these today as you drive along Moanalua Freeway. ​Another part of the hedge was scheduled to be removed in 1942 by the US Army (who had a presence on the Punahou campus during the World War II), but again the Outdoor Circle stepped in and obtained a truckload of cuttings to plant in many parts of Honolulu. Today these cuttings can still be seen on the slopes of Punchbowl and Round Top and elsewhere around the city. s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com
<div><b>Click on TOC logo symbols to view site images.</b></div>
<div>Since TOC successfully acquired and closed down the last operating billboard company in Hawaii in 1926, the organization has consistently advocated against all types of off-site advertising. TOC’s vigilance in prohibiting off-site advertising throughout the state has kept Hawaii one of only 4 states that prohibit this form of advertising clutter, which is a type of visual pollution and blight.</div> s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com
Environmental Advocacy Efforts Shown at Right
In 1974, after a five-year effort by the Outdoor Circle, groundbreaking began on the McCoy Pavilion. Longtime Outdoor Circle member, Mrs. Lester McCoy, had bequeathed money to be used to build it, stipulating that the Outdoor Circle was to review the plans for the complex, which included a beautiful tree-filled courtyard and reflecting pools, as shown above. s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com
<div>In 1918, Outdoor Circle took it upon themselves to landscape the barren slopes of Tantalus and Round Top Drive overlooking Honolulu. The above photo shows Tantalus circa 1900. The women rode up the rough terrain on horseback, scattering kukui nuts out onto the steep slopes as they went, hoping they’d lodge in the rocky soil and sprout naturally. They also planted bougainvillea and other trees. Today, as you drive these roads, you can still see these silvery-green leaved kukui specimens, as shown in the inset in the photo above.</div>

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