“Kākoʻo ia Kahoʻolawe” Community Cleanup Day this Saturday

June 25, 2014, 11:24 AM HST · Updated June 25, 11:26 AM
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Haleakalā National Park's Pōhai Maile High School interns collaborate with the KIRC's Hui Kāpehe interns at the KIRC Kīhei Boat House property. Courtesy photo.

Haleakalā National Park’s Pōhai Maile High School interns collaborate with the KIRC’s Hui Kāpehe interns at the KIRC
Kīhei Boat House property. Courtesy photo.

By Wendy Osher

The Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission hosts its monthly community work day event on Saturday, June 28, at the future site of its Kahoʻolawe Cultural Center on the island of Maui.

The “Kākoʻo ia Kahoʻolawe” community cleanup day will run from 8 a.m. to noon at the commission’s Kīhei Boat House property in South Maui.

KIRC executives say the volunteer work day is aimed at strengthening the understanding of and connection to Kahoʻolawe for residents and visitors.

“Our Kīhei site is the first point of contact for all community volunteers accessing Kahoʻolawe, as it is where our vessel – the ʻŌhua – is housed,” said KIRC Executive Director Mike Nāhoʻopiʻi in a commission press release announcement.

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“Cultivating the area responds to a strong demand for information and shared experiences for those that cannot commit to the four-day access trips on-island,” he said.

Earlier this year, Nāhoʻopiʻi said the waiting list for the Kaho’olawe island trips was two-years long.  The Maui project offers opportunities to volunteer without traveling off island, or waiting for a spot to become available. 

Under the community work day series on Maui, volunteers focus on clearing invasive brush and grass from the agency’s 8-acre property in Kīhei.

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 property.

So far, the commission says, more than 100 volunteers have worked to clear kiawe, plant native vegetation, and clear land for area projects on the South Maui property.

Volunteers interested in serving this weekend, can do so by entering the Kīhei Boat Ramp parking lot, and following the blue Kahoʻolawe banner onto the property.

Volunteers are asked to wear closed-toe shoes, long pants and long sleeved shirts; and bring gloves, water bottles, sun-protection, and snacks. Free lunch will be provided by the Vineyard Food Company.

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