Another year has come and gone, but we couldn't let it slip away without taking some time to recognize all of the amazing volunteers that lent a hand throughout 2017 and all of the work they accomplished.
We are so grateful to the 1,267 volunteers who donated over 3,700 hours to 49 events at various HOK projects across Ko'olaupoko. HOK is an entity with a small staff, two full-time and one part-time employee. The amount of volunteers we have had over the last 9 years equals a staff of over 20 full-time employees. Let me break that down... that's over 15,00 volunteers who have donated over 45,500 hours of service! So it really should go without saying, it's the volunteers that make HOK successful!
Here at HOK we are excited for 2018, watching current restoration sites mature and kicking off a new project with in the He'eia Estuary site (details to come in a few months), revisiting some of our older project sites, and of course - continuing to work with the community to have a positive impact on our natural environment through restoration and education programs.
Speaking of He'eia Estuary, have your driven on Kamehameha Highway near the pier lately? Thanks to all of the HOK volunteers, hardworking invasive species removal contractors and our neighbors at the State Park and He'eia Fishpond, you can now see the ocean from the road and we are beginning to make a dent in the wall of massive invasive mangrove trees and we will continue to out-plant native plants on these 5 acres in 2018.
We will be continuing our monthly community workdays atHe'eia Estuary on the third Saturday every month and we will continue second Saturday workdays which will rotate quarterly between Kaha Garden and the Rain Gardens at Windward Community College, so be sure to check our calendar for dates and details.
Ultimately, we hope our work inspires you to take action, manifests action at the government level and can provide inspiration to the development industry to incorporate native plants, a rain garden or other ʻgreen buildingʻ techniques into new building designs and prioritize funding for ecosystem protection.
Mahalo for all your support over the years and in 2017. We look forward to working with old friends and partners and meeting new ones in 2018.
The mission of Hui o Ko`olaupoko is to protect ocean health by restoring the `aina: mauka to makai. This is done in partnership with stakeholders including interested citizens, non-governmental organizations, government, educational institutions and businesses while using and focusing on sound ecological principles, community input, and cultural heritage.