Ulupono Initiative

Maui School Garden Network

Developing a greater sense of food self-reliance and nutrition education among Maui County’s keiki.

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Through the Ulupono donor-advised fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation, Ulupono Initiative supports the Maui School Garden Network (MSGN), which was formed in 2008 to promote a greater sense of food security and a better understanding of nutrition to Maui County children through sustainable school gardens. Currently, more than 40 schools on Maui and Molokai are participating in MSGN, with Sustainable Molokai administering the Molokai school garden program.

MSGN’s work includes:

  • Increasing the adoption and integration of garden curriculum into Maui schools
  • Increasing the availability of local food on campus
  • Helping school garden programs become more sustainable
  • Preparing pathways for more youth to choose a future in agriculture careers

MSGN has also provided the following opportunities:

  • Regional school garden tours
  • Annual calendar of workshops, conferences and programs related to gardening and farming
  • School garden funding
  • Seed distribution and seed exchange
  • Curricular materials in gardening and nutrition that incorporate DOE standards in science, health, English and social studies, including economics
  • Advocacy services for teachers who want to start gardens
  • Matching start-up funds for schools that want to start gardens or have a particular need that cannot be met by community donations
  • Gardening and farming experts for advice and support to schools

Why We Invested

Ulupono Initiative supports Maui School Garden Network in its efforts to promote and advocate for school garden programs in Maui County. Ulupono believes MSGN is making an important difference in our common goals of sustainability, agriculture resilience and food security.  This investment is part of Ulupono’s larger effort to fund school gardens statewide to increase understanding of where food comes from, why local fresh is best and how behavioral change can make a difference.


  • Supports more local food by increasing the consumer demand among children and families
  • Supports educated healthy youth and consumers who seek out fresh local food
  • Helps raise future farmers and food entrepreneurs
  • Incorporates lessons in composting and recycling of food, green waste as a resource
  • Partners with garden and school food community across Maui County and the state

At a Glance

Investment Area
Financial Model
Total Investment


2014: $60,857
2013: $35,480
2012: $34,000
2010: $2,000


Support for the Maui School Garden Network is provided through grants from the Ulupono Donor-Advised Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation.

University of Hawaii Maui College