Happy 14th Birthday, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center! 2,000 at pā‘ina celebrated mālama ‘āina

2,000 keiki, family, and friends attended the annual celebration; this year’s theme focused on mālama ‘āina or caring for the land. 

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center with its three cones shaped buildings, signage in lava wall, surrounded by gardens.
‘Imiloa Astronomy Center

Thousands packed the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo on Sunday to celebrate the educational center’s 14th birthday pā‘ina, “Birthday Re-wrapped.” This year’s annual celebration was focused on mālama ‘āina or caring for the land—with an emphasis on the letter “R”—where visitors learned about how to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair, and Repurpose.

People in lobby of center with overhead fish nets and fish cut outs to mimic the ocean.
At the 14th birthday celebration on Sunday, Feb. 23, ‘Imiloa decorated its main atrium with discarded fishing net and items found on the beach.

“With all that we are experiencing globally, it is ‘Imiloa’s hope that visitors take with them a heightened awareness of the waste and debris as a result of our collective impact here on Earth and in space,” says Ka‘iu Kimura, executive director of the center.

Activities included making a beeswax wrap (a plastic wrap alternative), building with re-purposed materials at the Imagination Station, and learning how to sew on a button or repair clothing like a pro. Inspiring a Zero Waste lifestyle and a healthier Hawai‘i was the aim.

Hundreds of keiki were among the approximately 2,000 attendees at the celebration.

Visitors also enjoyed a full dome presentation in ‘Imiloa’s planetarium at a special show, Space Junk, addressing satellites orbiting around Earth and the discussions taking place on how to clean-up scattered debris.

Read more at UH System News.

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