Watershed lessons culminate in Genki ball drop into the Ala Wai Canal
A total of 80 first grade students from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama tossed Genki balls into the Ala Wai Canal Wednesday to help clean the polluted waterway.
They prepared 200 mud balls containing a mixture that includes microorganisms which digest sludge and promote the growth of living organisms that aid in the restoration of the natural aquatic ecosystem.
Kamehameha Schools is working toward having haumāna be able to drop Genki balls in their own ahupuaʻa of Kapālama in the near future.
“We hope to continue our Genki ball production to further contribute to the work the Ala Wai project has already started,” said Tina Nakamoto, a first-grade teacher at Kamehameha Schools Kapālama. “Our dream is for our haumāna to be able to show their aloha for our ahupuaʻa, fulfill their kuleana, and to mālama Kapālama by expanding and focusing our efforts a little closer to home.”
The students have been interacting with various organizations to learn about stream ecosystems and the importance of fresh, clean water that is able to flow from the mountains to the sea.
In addition to studying endemic and native stream life in class, they removed armored catfish, mosquito fish, and other invasive species from Mānoa Stream last week. Some of the first graders also visited Papa Loʻi o Kānewai at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and heard about the moʻolelo and significance of that wahi pana.