Last Saturday, December 12, 2015, teachers of the DOE came to Niumalu Beach Park for a day of foundation-building (Kahua) activities. The day was partly hosted by Mālama Hulē‘ia, with Sara Bowen and Mason Chock providing an introduction to the cultural values Huleia River and Alekoko Fishpond and the challenge of freeing them from the invasion of red mangrove. This introduction included viewing the river and fishpond from the lookout on Hulemalu Road.
After that, the teachers returned to the park and helped to care for the adjoining Pū‘ali Wetland. They helped to cleanup left-over mangrove debris and weed out some of the opae grass that is spreading over the area. Most focused on taking out the grass from where it is infiltrating the native ground covers and sedges. While busy with this ground level work, there was still plenty of energy going into discussions about class rooms, subjects, teaching strategies, etc. To be sure, there was also good gossip being enjoyed. So one veteran of the Mālama Hulē‘ia workdays noted that such conversations were not possible before, when they were carrying out big mangrove branches and logs … now the work is just like gardening.
This coming Saturday, December 19, 2015, will be the last Mālama Hulē‘ia community workday of the year. Please come to the Niumalu Beach Park to help with the gardening. We provide tools, gloves, water and lunch. Dress for mud and sun. Bring a container for water and maybe a low stool to sit on while gardening.