Maui News

Adopt-A-Highway Volunteerism Award Goes to Kamehameha Schools Maui

October 20, 2021, 1:06 PM HST
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Kamehameha Schools Maui was recognized by the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation for its ongoing efforts to remove litter from a 2-mile section of Kula Highway. Photo Courtesy: HWY-M

Kamehameha Schools Maui (KSM) has been awarded the No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award for its active volunteerism in the Adopt-A-Highway program run by the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation.

Since 2016, faculty, staff and students from KSM have cleaned up a section of Kula Highway between mile markers 8 and 10, typically drawing more than 30 participants per event.

“Our kupuna exhibited great ha’aha’a (humility), so we are humbled to be recognized for this contribution to our island home,” said Dr. Scott Parker, headmaster of KSM. “We don’t expect to be honored for our work in the community – our satisfaction comes from knowing that we’re doing our part to shepherd the ‘aina for the next generation to enjoy.”

Ty Fukuroku, program manager of Highways Division – Maui Environmental Management, said: “Volunteers in the Adopt-A-Highway program contribute greatly to protecting our land and water from pollutants like litter that can damage Maui’s ecosystems and harm wildlife. By including students in their Adopt-A-Highway cleanups, Kamehameha Schools Maui serves as a model for youngsters and their families, teaching that there’s value in caring for the environment. We really appreciate that.”

Established in 1996, KSM is part of the Kamehameha Schools Educational System, with more than 1,000 students in grades K-12 enrolled at the KSM campus in Pukalani. Grounded in Hawaiian and Christian values, the accredited and independent school is renowned for its incorporation of Hawaiian cultural principles as a foundation for its curriculum.

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Adopt-A-Highway cleanups are carried out by volunteer groups that commit to adopting a two-mile portion of a state highway for a minimum of two years. The groups pick up litter on their section of the highway at least four times per year, and undergo safety training before each cleanup event. Cleanups must also comply with state or county COVID-19 safety requirements in effect at the time.

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Trash and other pollutants along Maui’s roadways that wash into storm drains often end up miles away in the ocean where they can damage the environment. Adopt-A-Highway is one of several programs managed by Highways Division-Maui (HWY-M) to help reduce pollution and ensure only rainwater enters the storm drain system.

Organizations on Maui interested in signing up for Adopt-A-Highway can search for available highway segments at HWY-M’s stormwater website, www.stormwatermaui.com. Applications, cleanup forms, a safety training video and program information are also available on the website.

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