First Mahinaʻai Night to Revitalize Kahoʻolawe
By Maui Now Staff
The Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission will present its inaugural Mahinaʻai Night on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at its Kīhei boat house property in South Maui, in an effort to raise awareness of and access to Kahoʻolawe.
The first in the series of full moon events will include: a guided tour of the KIRC’s new walking trail; live music by UH Maui College’s Institute of Hawaiian Music; food vendors; and the opportunity to talk story with experts in Kahoʻolawe history, restoration and culture.
The event will be held at the 8-acre parcel designated to the KIRC in 2002 as the future site of a Kahoʻolawe learning center.
“Our Kīhei site is the first point of contact for all community volunteers accessing Kahoʻolawe, as it is where our vessel – the ʻOhua, the primary means of Kahoʻolawe transport – is housed,” said KIRC Executive Director Mike Nāhoʻopiʻi in an event announcement.
“Cultivating the area responds to a strong demand for information and shared experiences for those that cannot commit to the 4-day volunteer restoration access trips on-island. We see this as an important step in strengthening understanding of and connection to Kahoʻolawe for all residents and visitors,” said Nāhoʻopiʻi.
KIRC Public Information Specialist Kelly McHugh also commented saying, “This is our first large-scale outreach event for Kahoʻolawe since exhibiting a shared collection of historical photographs at the Bailey House Museum 6 months ago. We were able to physically reach more individuals during that event than what we can financially and logistically achieve during an entire year of on-island accesses – and what we heard was ‘we want more.’ Innumerable benefits are offered through the education, history, culture and ecology of Kahoʻolawe, and we want our community to both share and continue to contribute to those benefits. This is one way that we can try to make that happen.”
Three projects will be unveiled during the Mahinaʻai Night event including: the Kahoʻolawe educational walking trail; a native plant nursery that will propagate plants for both the Kīhei site and for Kahoʻolawe; and a traditional hale for Kahoʻolawe education and outreach activities.
The projects were made possible with grant support through the Atherton Family Foundation, Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority and the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, and were completed with the help of hundreds of Maui residents and visitors who volunteered their time during monthly Kākoʻo iā Kahoʻolawe work days.
The Mahinaʻai Night event will run from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, 2015. It is free and open to the public.