More than just an educational citrus planting, the first Project Lemon Tree at Jefferson Elementary School taught the keiki a valuable lesson on “how to make lemonade out of lemons.”

In 2016, vandals had cold-heartedly burned down Jefferson Elementary School’s playground along with the joy it once provided the keiki. Looking past the charred devastation, Principal Garret Zakahi’s fire proof optimism beautified the hideous act into our inaugural Project Lemon Tree trellis planting. On July 21, 2018, over 80 people in the community united to support the pivot point of an inspirational story.

We would like to send thanks to the community for helping make the first Project Lemon Tree event better than what we could have ever imagined it to be!

Mahalos to Kalani High School’s Makers Club for learning, engineering, and constructing the gorgeous pergola; Layers of Flavor’s Chef James Aptakin for fueling the hard working volunteers with his incredible school-grown tilapia meal; ‘Iolani High School, Waikiki Elementary, and Jefferson Elementary’s school gardens for donating the fresh ingredients for the menu; and lastly the dignitaries that donated their time to specially acknowledge the impact that Project Lemon Tree made:

First Lady, Mrs. Dawn Amano-Ige; HIDOE, Deputy Superintendent; Ms. Phyllis Unebasami, HIDOE; CAS Kaimuki-McKinley-Roosevelt, Ruth Silberstein; Senator Susie Chun Oakland; & HIDOE, Communications Specialist, Sherie Char!

Special thanks to all of our sponsors that made this event possible:

Layers of flavor, Pitch Sports Bar, Elemental Excelerator, The Honolulu Zoo College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Education Incubator, City Mill Co., Ltd., Hawaii Farm to School Hui, Oahu Farm to School Network, Honolulu Complex Schools Department of Education, & HHF Planners!