Dozens of volunteers help restore Waimea Valley
Posted: Aug 20, 2017 9:19 AM HSTUpdated: Aug 20, 2017 9:25 AM HSTBy Diane Ako
OAHU, Hawaii -
More than 100 volunteers joined The Trust for Public Land on Saturday at Waimea Valley on O`ahu’s North Shore to partake in a communal land restoration effort they called A Day on the Land. The participants— including donors and volunteers from 13 companies and organizations— helped steward Waimea Valley by eradicating invasive species from ponds and gardens. The goal was to emphasize community connections to and restoration of Hawaii’s most important lands, and volunteers ranged from four to 74 years old.
“Protecting and stewarding Hawaii’s environment is important to Hawaiian Electric, and our team is happy to help Waimea Valley and The Trust for Public Land, said Scott Seu, Senior VP of Public Affairs for Hawaiian Electric.
“We are honored at Hawaii Gas to help The Trust for Public Land restore and protect our lands. Such a wonderful experience for our team and we are looking forward to doing it again,” reflected Joe Boivin, Senior VP at Hawaii Gas.
Waimea Valley is recognized for its environmental and cultural importance. The area is one of the last relatively intact ahupua`a on Oahu. Historically, the valley was awarded to kahuna nui, or high priests, who lived in and cared for the land.
In more recent years, the valley has functioned as a cultural kipuka (oasis) and botanical garden that is visited by local residents and visitors. The landscape includes the famous Waihi waterfall, streams, rare and endangered plants, and many dozens of culturally important archeological sites. Now managed by the nonprofit Hi`ipaka LLC, Waimea Valley depends on community volunteers to help steward and maintain the lands.
“Everyone at Waimea Valley wants to express our sincere gratitude to all of the wonderful volunteers that came to help today. The work done by these groups allows us to continue to be a resource to the community and visitors alike. I want to welcome anyone who is interested in helping and being a part of caring for this amazing sacred valley to get in touch with me,” encourages Melani Spielman, Waimea Valley Volunteer Coordinator.
“Waimea Valley is a truly special place. The Trust for Public Land is happy to have supported the conservation of the Valley, and we continue to assist the North Shore community to protect lands mauka to makai to one day have a completely protecting ahupua`a for community benefit,” said Gregg Takara, The Trust for Public Land’s Advisory Board Chair and Senior Vice President of Morgan Stanley.
“I am proud to be here today with many of HMSA colleagues, our families and the other Hawaii organizations supporting The Trust for Public Land. Conservation and educational efforts like this one are important to perpetuate our connection to the land and place we live,” said Jason Paloma of HMSA Foundation.
The Trust for Public Land is a nonprofit organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. For a list of community workdays, call (808) 524-8694 or visit http://www.tpl.org/hawaii.