Community Discussion

MH community meetingWe had a productive discussion with community members on May 29. Below in italics is Mason Chock’s summary of what we heard and what we are currently doing relative to the points discussed

In case you were not able to attend, our agenda included presentations by Mālama Hulēʻia Steering Committee members, as well as by Mason Chock, Community Outreach Manager, and Buddy Keala, Field Operations Manager. We covered the history of our project, the reasons why we want to eradicate red mangrove, how we are doing the eradication, and our long range restoration goals for the Hulēʻia River.

Buddy Keala explains our method of cutting mangrove.

Buddy Keala explains our method of cutting mangrove.

And even if you were there, you may not have had a good view of the slide show. (Sorry about the technical difficulties.) So here is the slide show we presented, now in clearer PDF format: Mālama Hulēʻia Slideshow Not to be forgotten was Pepe Trask’ fabulous upgrade of the meal from Portuguese bean soup to grilled chicken with hoysin sauce, spinach salad, brown rice, fresh pinapple and chips with salsa. Mahalo, Pepe.

Mason’s summary is also being sent out to all participants in the community meeting and to all our other partners in the Mālama Hulēʻia project:

Aloha Mai Kakou,
Thank you so much for those who were able to make it out to our community discussion this past Wednesday and for those who couldn’t make it, but were there in spirit. It is great to see how this project is so meaningful to our community.
There were many great connections made at our community discussion. I’m writing to let you know we have heard your mana’o and have responded to your requests and direction. Below you will find the key areas of focus shared by you and what we are currently doing to honor them.
1. History
Hulēʻia is a spiritually powerful area with wahipana (sacred places) and moʻolelo (stories) that give tribute to it’s importance. Mahalo aunty Cheryl Lovell Obatake for sharing your stories and connecting us with a few people who can contribute to our collection.
In reverence, pule and acknowledgement of this special place will always be a part of our protocol. We intend to give thanks and praise as well as open opportunities in our gatherings to hear of the history and moʻolelo of Hulēʻia. One of the ways we intend to do this is through a partnership with Nā Pua Noʻeau, The Kauai Historical Society, The Waialeale program and Kawaikini. We foresee cultural, informational and educational opportunities to be developed through these partnerships. In addition, it is our intent to continue to provide opportunities for families to join us in our effort. We will be beginning this practice through a joint Fernandez and Chow ohana reunion on Saturday, July 6. We hope to see your ohana out soon. Let me know when you can make it.
2. Education
Seeking a partnership with the Department of Education has already begun with conversations through superintendent Bill Arakaki and Kauai High School Principal Deborah Lindsey. We foresee multiple groups joining the effort from our local public, charter and private schools. We would like to reach out to church groups, the girl scouts and many other enrichment programs on island. In the next few months in expect Nā Pua Noʻeau to rejoin us, Kamehameha Scholars, Kamehameha Schools Association of Kauai, Sea Scouts, Surfrider Foundation and our local canoe clubs.
3. Heavy Equipment
Utilizing equipment to complete some of our work has been a topic of discussion since our inception and while you know we have committed to utilizing hand tools to complete a large portion of the work, allies such as the County Parks and Recreation Department have just committed to join the clearing on the county park side of the stream. In addition last night, Milo Splindt, from the Department of Land and Natural Resources offered to consult with us on determining the feasibility to utilize machinery in the future.
4. Advertising
To date, this effort remains primarily grass roots driven. We currently announce our community clearing dates by email, Facebook, Twitter, newspaper, local cable and radio. We have also written several articles for The Garden Island Newspaper and intend to continue this effort with other local publications such as Kauai Lifestyle, and Inspiration Journal. We hope to have a spot on Walaʻau within the next month and also on the Mayor’s Show. Also a local videographer, Katie Beer, from Hoʻokipa Kauai and a few Chiefess Kamakahele students have begun production on supporting pieces for the project that will continue to highlight our progress.
5. Businesses
Participation from businesses will be paramount to our success and while we have made great partnerships already. We would like to engage our Cruises and visitors in participating and learning about the importance of taking care of our pristine resources. Uncle Pepe Trask has begun the discussion with the Cruise ships that enter Hulēʻia and we have a new partner in Island Adventures through Kamal Salibi and Charlie Cobb Adams.
The viability of our streams and river as a natural resource touches the heart of our community lifestyle and values in many different ways. We feel blessed on Kauai to have so many thoughtful and caring people and are poised to continue the work towards our collective long-term vision in Hulēʻia. See you at our next community discussion and update!
Me Kealoha Pumehana!
Mālama Hulēʻia Project
Mason K. Chock

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