On Thursday, August 28, 2014, the 7-12 grade students and teachers of Kawaikini Public Charter School worked on the Mālama Hulē‘ia project site in the first of a series of partnering activities. Kawaikini is a school that emphasizes traditional Hawaiian values through the Hawaiian language. The partnership with Mālama Hulē‘ia involves hands-on environmental fieldwork as well as Hawaiian cultural education with a commitment to seeing the restoration of the ‘Alēkoko (Alakoko) fishpond. Prior to arriving at our project site, Malia Chun met the students and teachers at the ‘Alēkoko overlook and explained the cultural importance of the fishpond and how Mālama Hulē‘ia’s long term goal is to restore this treasure, which is now overgrown with mangrove. Carl Berg then introduced them to our project site and explained the environmental reasons for what we are doing in restoring the Pu‘ali Stream, Hulē‘ia River and ‘Alēkoko fishpond.
According to Kumu Rebecca Cate, the alignment of Kawaikini School with Mālama Hulē‘ia is based on our shared vision:
“Kawaikini is a K – 12 school that is in the moku of Puna – the same moku as Alakoko. We care for our ‘āina and desire to pass this passion on to our students. We are hoping to partner with Mālama Hulēʻia to learn from the wealth of knowledge this foundation has. Whatever we do at Kaiola will assist us with the restoration of Alakoko. We have a shared vision to see Alakoko restored and we want our students to be active participants of this process – over how ever many years it may take to accomplish this. We believe this process has immeasurable educational value that directly aligns to our school’s vision.”
Kawaikini School’s long term commitment to our cause is greatly appreciated. Mahalo to all the students and teachers who will help us to realize our vision.
Mangrove Hauling Sledge
Faced by a massive wall of red mangrove, deep tangles of hau, and mud that can swallow half of your leg, our Mālama Hulē‘ia volunteer army continued to march toward the Pū‘ali Stream. On the weekend of August 16-17, we employed all the weapons we had, plus a couple of new ones. We had brush cutters and chain saws buzzing. We extended our walkway even further over the mud. We loaded up carts and pushed them to where the chipper could grind up the mangrove and hau branches. We cut down and chained up whole trees and dragged them out of the mud with a truck on dry ground. And we put a couple of truck bed liners to good use as a sledges for hauling the cut up mangrove.
We made good progress in clearing mangrove and other invasive plants bordering the Pū‘ali. Although the challenge of completely eliminating these invaders and freeing the Pū‘ali remains great, we can prevail by practicing our motto: Ho‘omoe wai kāhi ke kāo‘o (Let all travel together like water flowing in one direction.) In the end, the power of wai will be on our side.
Mahalo to all of our volunteer warriors for taking on this battle with the red mangrove, especially to those who have helped before. Big mahalo to the Kane Ohana, including Durgh and Pomai Kane, who after all these years with the Kaiola Canoe Club, still demonstrate that there is more to being in an outrigger canoe club than paddling. Also big mahalo to Dennis Chun, who took time off from his neighboring project in Nawiliwili, Nā Kalai Waʻa ʻO Kauaʻi – Namahoe, to help us with ours.
This gallery contains 11 photos.
On August 4, 2014, thanks to Joel Guy, we were able to get aerial views of the red mangrove growing along the upper banks of the Hulē‘ia. We paddled his drone up the river to about 1/4 mile past the S-turn and … Continue reading
BC Buds still clean
The team of paddlers who call themselves BC Buds may have been disappointed by not being able to compete in the storm-cancelled Napali Challenge. But that did not change their positive attitude and aloha spirit as they buddied up to pull hau branches from the mud and plant native ‘uki and ‘ae ‘ae in our Niumalu site on August 6, 2014.
The men and women crews included paddlers from the Ocean River Paddling Club, the False Creek Racing Canoe Club and the Kamloops Wailua Outrigger Club, all located in British Columbia, Canada. Mahalo to these paddlers for coming so far and helping to rid the Pū‘ali and Hulē‘ia of red mangrove and other invasive plants. Mahalo also to Keone and Dana Miyake for connecting them with Mālama Hulē‘ia.
Wali came and went without disturbing Niumalu very much. It did, however, disturb our mangrove clearing work schedule, and we really need to make up for that. If you can spare the time, please kokua. We will be working the Mālama Hulē‘ia project site from 8:30 AM to noon. Then we break for lunch and a Steering Committee meeting.
There will be a low tide Sunday morning, so the land should be dryer than it was last Sunday, when the ‘alae‘ula and cattle egrets had the place for themselves:
Hazardous Weather Conditions
Due to the heavy rain expected, today’s mangrove clearing is rescheduled until next Sunday, 7/27/14. If you can make it then, please join us. There is much red mangrove and other invasive plants that remain at our Niumalu project site, and we can use all the help we can get. Mahalo to all who helped yesterday.
Hula dancers came from California, Washington, Virginia, and parts of Kauai to attend the 2014 World Hula Conference, as well as to spend some quality in Niumalu with Mālama Hulē‘ia. After helping to pull out the Indian fleabane weeds, and replanting with ʻaeʻae, ʻākulikuli, ʻahu ʻawa, , kīpūkai, and ʻuki, the dancers feasted on an ono lunch featuring Calvin Ho’s kalo poki. Then everyone got into a couple of double hull canoes and paddled up the Hulē‘ia to see first hand the harm that red mangrove is doing to our river and the ‘Alekoko fish pond.
Mahalo nui loa to the 21 hula dancers who demonstrated great aloha ‘āina by helping our project. Mahalo also to Calvin and Katherine Ho for coordinating and making this event possible.