Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Rapid Fund/Marianas Endemic Plant Project (MEPP) (ID: 22591896)

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statusAwaiting grantee reply
Marianas Endemic Plant Project (MEPP)
proposed start date2024-06-01
proposed end date2024-08-31
budget (local currency)4900.5 USD
budget (USD)4900.5 USD
grant typeIndividual
funding regionESEAP
decision fiscal year2023-24
applicant• halenhardy, email
organization (if applicable)• N/A

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Applicant Details[edit]

Main Wikimedia username. (required)

halenhardy, email



If you are a group or organization leader, board member, president, executive director, or staff member at any Wikimedia group, affiliate, or Wikimedia Foundation, you are required to self-identify and present all roles. (required)


Describe all relevant roles with the name of the group or organization and description of the role. (required)

Main Proposal[edit]

1. Please state the title of your proposal. This will also be the Meta-Wiki page title.

Marianas Endemic Plant Project (MEPP)

2. and 3. Proposed start and end dates for the proposal.

2024-06-01 - 2024-08-31

4. Where will this proposal be implemented? (required)


5. Are your activities part of a Wikimedia movement campaign, project, or event? If so, please select the relevant project or campaign. (required)

Not applicable

6. What is the change you are trying to bring? What are the main challenges or problems you are trying to solve? Describe this change or challenges, as well as main approaches to achieve it. (required)

Every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, we venture into the Kurason I Sengsong, Dededo Nature Park to restore a limestone rainforest on the Northern Limestone Plateau of Guam. This 11 acre patch of scrub forest on the Northern Plateau of Guam is part of only 1000 remaining acres. Less than 5% of the Limestone Forest remains since degradation of the land, flora and fauna began post World War 2.

The change we are making is to actively reverse the disappearance of native plants on Guam and the Marianas through community efforts and to remedy local native plant blindness due to an absence of readily available references and the rarity of native and endemic plants in the urban/suburban environment. By creating a community of endemic plant enthusiasts on Facebook/Instagram and Whatsapp, and now Wikipedia, we are accelerating our efforts. We have a diverse team including CJ Paulino who identifies as CHamoru, the indigenous people of Guam.

Local Guam Museum curator, Michael Bevacqua, in a New York Times article about Guam, stated “one of those things that comes about from a long colonial experience is the idea that things change because somebody brings it to you-you are not the agent of that change.”

Early restoration efforts at the beginning of our stewardship of the property in 2014 were limited to creating pathways through thickets of invasive plants to uncover what little native plants were present. 4 years in, it became apparent that there was little information, easily accessible, to guide us on replanting cleared areas with appropriate native and endemic limestone rainforest plants.

The Wikipedia content page, List of Mariana Endemic Plants, began in 2018 with a personal spreadsheet of native and endemic plants. It was apparent that a list of native and endemic plants and locating plant material for propagation and planting would be invaluable for our rainforest restoration efforts. The list expanded in 2023 with the help of the Plants of the World Online (POWO) list generated for the Mariana Islands biogeographic country. However, it became clear that some of these species have not been identified in decades (or in some cases centuries), are of questionable locality, and/or not listed in earlier catalogs of endemic species such as Costion & Lorence: "The Endemic Plants of Micronesia: A Geographical Checklist and Commentary" in Micronesica 43(1): 51 – 100, 2012. The process of cataloging these now 124 species has revealed that there may be two dozen or more species that could be listed as endangered, in addition to the 11 Guam plant species already listed as endangered or threatened.

We chose Wikipedia to publish our List and plant content pages, because of Wikipedia’s reach to the public, the ease of navigating complex ecologies through hyperlinks, and the ability to update the pages as taxonomic changes occur. At the same time, Justin Hale founded the Guam Native Plant Society on Facebook/Instagram and started a Whatsapp Chat to bring together local plant enthusiasts from diverse groups such as the Forestry Division, Military, University of Guam, non-profits, local artists, and laypersons. The Whatsapp group has been active in sharing expertise and resources, and notifications of plant content page publishing. January 2023 we began voluntarily creating plant species pages monthly, based on the list from List of Endemic Plants in the Marianas. So far, the “plant of the month” project has generated 14 pages, although there are about 76 more to go.

Kurason I Sengsong is a volunteer based organization. Our projects take longer when we can only proceed with community donations and volunteers. 1 page a month published to Wikipedia would be an excellent rate for an all volunteer effort. 11 every 12 weeks would be a significant 4 fold publishing increase.

The Wikipedia List of Endemic Plants in the Mariana Islands has 124 unique species or subspecies, and prior to our volunteer work, only 28% of the species had blue link pages, and many of those were stubs. Since creating the 14 pages, now 33% of the species have blue link content pages. 76 of the species are currently red link content pages. We intend to publish and edit all 124 content pages. The Mariana Endemic Plant Project will accelerate our publishing rate to 11 pages every 12 weeks with 2 editors. Compensating for pages under paid Contract allows our volunteers to schedule their time during work hours, rather than leisure hours.

We have been successful in our volunteer publishing goals since January 2023. Even when Category 4 Typhoon Mawar struck the island May 24, 2024, our volunteers began clearing our Nature Park reforestation pathways and resumed Wikipedia publishing activities within 6 weeks after the disaster.

Mission, implementation and finishing what we start is the role of Kurason I Sengsong. Long term stewardship of our Rainforest Restoration Project, volunteer engagement, the endemic native plant list, sourcing, propagation and planting of plants, creating habitat, writing curriculum for educational programs, and protecting our plants and animals are all projects under our leadership and administration.

In closing, our mission at the Nature Park and the Wikipedia content pages has a Local and International focus. Guam is quickly degrading the remaining 1000 acres of limestone rainforest since 2009. We believe there is a link between the lack of available endemic plant knowledge, plant blindness, and the disappearnance of species on the Mariana Islands. Despite being a biodiversity hotspot, there is a relative dearth of information about many of our unique species. For example, in contrast to the List of Endemic Plants in the Marianas, the article List of Trees of Canada has 273 species and only 2 are red links (99% of species have pages). We also believe that endemic species are woefully understudied due to our remote location and political marginalization of the islands. Guam remains one of 17 colonies yet to have a self determination vote as mandated by the United Nations.

On a Global scale, the Mariana Islands span geographic boundaries. We are documenting plants that cross borders from Guam to the CNMI, FSM and even Japan (Bonin Islands). The botanic region has been labeled as one of the top 25 Biodiversity Hot Spots on the Planet. What is common in all these areas is that they are under extreme pressure from degradation of habitat and invasive species. We have a sense of urgency in this matter.

7. What are the planned activities? (required) Please provide a list of main activities. You can also add a link to the public page for your project where details about your project can be found. Alternatively, you can upload a timeline document. When the activities include partnerships, include details about your partners and planned partnerships.

Pre Content Page Publishing 2 weeks Lead Consultant(LC) Prioritize from our content page List of Endemic Plants in the Mariana Islands, the top 11 native plants to be published during this Grant Cycle. LC Solicit recommendations from the Guam Native Plant Society on the Whatsapp Chat. Convene Zoom chat as required for review and comment. The current monthly plant of the month call for recommendation has been effective for 15 months since inception January 2023. LC Solicit Interested Final Draft List reviewers from the Guam Native Plant Society. Our whatsapp chat indicates we have consistent reviewers available for this task. We are open to using Wikipedia forums for this review as a pilot. LC Final Priority list for this Cycle.

Content Page Publishing 8 weeks Consultants Begin 1st plant content page, with 2 publishers more than one content page will be worked on at any time during the project duration. Open source photographs and botanic drawings and specimen archive sheets will also be obtained. LC Solicit review and comment of Final Draft of plant content page among reviewers. LC to Final plant content page for publishing. Signed printed page to be held in the Kurason I Sengsong Project archive both hard copy and digital. References are also archived, both mostly digital with a Kindle pdf copy. Note: In the past 10 years we have experienced significant power and internet disruption 3 times. Twice for a Cat 1, 3 days, more recently Typhoon Mawar Cat 4, 6 weeks on average. Being able to pursue our interests during power and internet outages is of great importance. During the disruption of Typhoon Mawar, outdoor activities were a great relief to the suffering experienced at home. Consultant Uploads content page to Wikipedia. Kurason I Sengsong coordinates creating a Plant story on WhatsApp, Facebook/Instagram and post for each Wikipedia specie uploaded. Additional media stories on Guam will be published through our contacts. Our Facebook/ Instagram GNPS page indicates the monthly frequency of current publishing efforts since January 2023. Consultant invoice of completed plant content page, will be verified by Kurason I Sengsong against content page upload on Wikipedia. Consultants will be paid for invoiced, uploaded work by Kurason I Sengsong at the end of each month, June 30, July 31 and August 31. Kurason I Sengsong Grant Coordinator prepares and posts required interim reports to Wikipedia.

Repeat a total of 11 times over 8 weeks.

Project Closeout 2 weeks Kurason I Sengsong Grant Coordinator prepares final report and financial report, forwards to Wikipedia. This is a normal administrative process for Kurason I Sengsong and the Grant Coordinator. Kurason I Sengsong will provide Grant Closeout as required.

8. Describe your team. Please provide their roles, Wikimedia Usernames and other details. (required) Include more details of the team, including their roles, usernames, Wikimedia group, and whether they are salaried, volunteers, consultants/contractors, etc. Team members involved in the grant application need to be aware of their involvement in the project.

User: halenhardy (Lead Consultant) He has a BS in Biology from Carson-Newman University and an advanced professional degree. He is lead Wikipedia plant content page researcher and Wikipedia editor for the Mariana Endemic Plant Project. 1 list content page, 294 edits, 13 plant content pages uploaded to date. Volunteer Forester at Kurason I Sengsong Nature Park since 2018, plant material hunter and creator of Guam Native Plant Society Facebook/ Instagram since 2022,

User: Chamorroplants671 He is Wikipedia plant content page researcher and Wikipedia editor. 2 subject matter plant content pages uploaded to date. Contributor to the Guam Native Plant Society. Staff at the Amot 40 acre reforestation project of the Tasi Tano I Todu non profit. He identifies as CHamoru, the local indigenous people of Guam.

User: Bburkhardt05 She is the Grant Coordinator for Kurason I Sengsong on the Mariana Endemic Plant Project. Volunteer activities include Board Member of Kurason I Sengsong and Kurason I Sengsong Environmental Projects Advocate. She is a 45 year Project Management professional with a special interest in LEED, Stormwater Design, Native Plant Landscaping, Regenerative Agriculture and Reforestation.

Kurason I Sengsong Financial Staff, Salaried, Maintains Quickbooks database, produces Financial Reports, Maintains Grant financial databases and Payroll for Kurason I Sengsong

9. Who are the target participants and from which community? How will you engage participants before and during the activities? How will you follow up with participants after the activities? (required)

Before the proposed Marianas Endemic Plant Project (MEPP), the Kurason I Sengsong Program, Guam Native Plant Society (GNPS), created by Justin Hale, had been regularly publishing Wikipedia plant pages. 14 total content pages have been published since January 2023, including the List of Marianas Endemic Plants. 2 coffee shop Wikipediathons were held for in person instruction to interested people. Diverse content information and Wikipedia content pages were posted on the Facebook/Instagram GNPS page.

During the proposed MEPP Cycle Justin Hale and CJ Paulino will upload 11 plant pages from the Wikipedia List of endemic plants in the Mariana Islands. Both of these GNPS participants have consistently uploaded or edited content pages on Wikipedia. As each content page is uploaded to Wikipedia, the GNPS Facebook/ Instagram pages will post a story about the new page. During the MEPP the GNPS Whatsapp chat is engaged with requests for sources including literary references, unique photographs and location stories.

During the proposed MEPP Cycle, Barbara Burkhardt will engage with Wikipedia to understand the broad outreach the platform provides to meet our advocacy goals. This is an elevation of our current expectations, as publishing and editing all 124 species on the List is identified as a 10 year project without Grant assistance. Should we be able to successfully apply to subsequent grant cycles, we will plan to enhance plant content page contributions from the Global web and the Wikipedia Species Working Group.

Post Grant Cycle, Guam Native Plant Society participants will be invited to register as a Wikipedia Editor and become active in maintaining the timeliness and quality of the content pages. Assistance in creating usernames and successful logins will be provided. We anticipate 2 training sessions on Wikipedia in 2024 through in-person coffee shop or Zoom meetings. To join the MEPP publishing and editing team we would require that the candidate upload 2 plant content pages, and work with the team on priorities and content page quality.

10. Does your project involve work with children or youth? (required)


10.1. Please provide a link to your Youth Safety Policy. (required) If the proposal indicates direct contact with children or youth, you are required to outline compliance with international and local laws for working with children and youth, and provide a youth safety policy aligned with these laws. Read more here.


11. How did you discuss the idea of your project with your community members and/or any relevant groups? Please describe steps taken and provide links to any on-wiki community discussion(s) about the proposal. (required) You need to inform the community and/or group, discuss the project with them, and involve them in planning this proposal. You also need to align the activities with other projects happening in the planned area of implementation to ensure collaboration within the community.

Justin Hale engages participants in the Guam Native Plant Society(GNPS) through social media and email, often private Direct Messages. CJ Paulino participates with GNPS and has stepped forward to be involved in the planning of this proposal. GNPS held 2 coffee shop Wikipediathons for in person instruction on creating and editing content pages. Diverse plant content information and Wikipedia content pages are posted on the Facebook/Instagram GNPS page. Guam in general uses Wikipedia as a starting point for reference, however publishing content pages is not as active.

We intend to align ourselves with other projects such as Wikipedia Global Species Working Group and The Plants Portal as part of a pilot during the Grant Cycle. We look forward to assistance from Wikipedia to expand in this area. Our focus is the Knowledge Inequity particular to underrepresented species lists, such as those of the 25 Biodiversity Hotspots of the World. Contributions from individuals residing in the Hotspot areas would also be of interest. We have not found a subgroup that is focused on our advocacy, the Plant Portal rates our List in Talk as Low importance. Our change advocacy is to be the agent of change, that species go extinct when they are of low importance, that Biodiversity Hotspots deserve high importance.

12. Does your proposal aim to work to bridge any of the content knowledge gaps (Knowledge Inequity)? Select one option that most apply to your work. (required)

Other Important Topics (topics considered to be of impact or important in the specific context)

13. Does your proposal include any of these areas or thematic focus? Select one option that most applies to your work. (required)


14. Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities? Select one option that most apply to your work. (required)

Ethnic/racial/religious or cultural background

15. In what ways do you think your proposal most contributes to the Movement Strategy 2030 recommendations. Select one that most applies. (required)

Identify Topics for Impact

Learning and metrics[edit]

17. What do you hope to learn from your work in this project or proposal? (required)

The change we are making is to actively reverse the disappearance of native plants on Guam through community efforts and remedy resident native plant blindness due to an absence of readily available references and plant access. By creating a community of endemic plant enthusiasts on Facebook/ Instagram, Whatsapp, and now Wikipedia , we are accelerating our efforts.

18. What are your Wikimedia project targets in numbers (metrics)? (required)
Number of participants, editors, and organizers
Other Metrics Target Optional description
Number of participants 12 10 locally in person or virtually

2 internationally in person or virtually

Number of editors 2 2 returning editors.

1 new editor to work in the next Grant Cycle

Number of organizers 1 1 new coordinator from a different non profit who will join in the advocacy as a partner,

target will be non profits with CHamoru language translators

Number of content contributions to Wikimedia projects
Wikimedia project Number of content created or improved
Wikipedia 11
Wikimedia Commons 22
Wikimedia Incubator
Wikifunctions or Abstract Wikipedia
Optional description for content contributions.


19. Do you have any other project targets in numbers (metrics)? (optional)


Main Open Metrics Data
Main Open Metrics Description Target
20. What tools would you use to measure each metrics? Please refer to the guide for a list of tools. You can also write that you are not sure and need support. (required)


18.2 To join the team the new editor needs to be registered and complete 2 content pages as a volunteer. Page needs to meet the standards set forth by the Lead Consultant

18.3 Signed memorandum of understanding with partners

18.4 Wikidata on successfully uploaded content pages.

Financial proposal[edit]

21. Please upload your budget for this proposal or indicate the link to it. (required)
22. and 22.1. What is the amount you are requesting for this proposal? Please provide the amount in your local currency. (required)

4900.5 USD

22.2. Convert the amount requested into USD using the Oanda converter. This is done only to help you assess the USD equivalent of the requested amount. Your request should be between 500 - 5,000 USD.

4900.5 USD

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Endorsements and Feedback[edit]

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Community members are invited to share meaningful feedback on the proposal and include reasons why they endorse the proposal. Consider the following:

  • Stating why the proposal is important for the communities involved and why they think the strategies chosen will achieve the results that are expected.
  • Highlighting any aspects they think are particularly well developed: for instance, the strategies and activities proposed, the levels of community engagement, outreach to underrepresented groups, addressing knowledge gaps, partnerships, the overall budget and learning and evaluation section of the proposal, etc.
  • Highlighting if the proposal focuses on any interesting research, learning or innovation, etc. Also if it builds on learning from past proposals developed by the individual or organization, or other Wikimedia communities.
  • Analyzing if the proposal is going to contribute in any way to important developments around specific Wikimedia projects or Movement Strategy.
  • Analysing if the proposal is coherent in terms of the objectives, strategies, budget, and expected results (metrics).