Kaho’olawe Commission Launches Volunteer Program in Kīhei
By Wendy Osher
The Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission will host its first community work day event on Saturday, Jan. 25, at the future site of its Kaho’olawe Cultural Center on the island of Maui.
“By creating community work day opportunities on Maui, we aim to strengthen understanding of and connection to Kaho’olawe for countless residents and visitors,” said KIRC Executive Director Mike Nāho’opi’i in an announcement today.
According to Nāho’opi’i, the KIRC has a two-year waiting list for individuals interested in the current volunteer program that the agency runs on the island of Kaho’olawe. Under the program, volunteers spend four days on island and work 10-hour days to remove non-native plants, conduct surveys, and honor ancient cultural practices.
Under the newly launched community work day series on Maui, volunteers will focus on clearing invasive brush and grass from the agency’s 8-acre property in Kīhei, adjacent to the Kīhei Boat Ramp.
KIRC representatives say the area will house offices, an information center, a boat house and storage facility, a native Hawaiian plant nursery, and traditional hale for education programs.
A “Kumeheu” walking trail with native plants and interpretive educational experience about Kahoʻolawe is also being developed on the same Kīhei property.
The first community work day event will run from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 25.
Volunteers can access the property by turning into the parking lot of the Kīhei Boat Ramp, and following signage placed by the Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission. Volunteers are asked to wear closed-toe shoes, long pants and long sleeved shirts; and bring gloves, water bottles, sun-protection, and snacks.