Hui o Ko'olaupoko (HOK) has recently been awarded a $2,000 Every Day Event Grant from The National Environmental Education Foundation and Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. This grant will be used to purchase native plants, tools, supplies, propagation materials and refreshments for volunteers who will assist in the maintenance of three HOK restoration projects. The projects include Kaha Native Plant Garden, the Popoi'a Street Storm Water Retro-fit and the He'eia Estuary Restoration Project.
Volunteers at all three sites will learn how to identify the native plants and their ecological and cultural uses, learn about the impacts of polluted runoff to the nearby aquatic habitats all while helping to remove invasive species and replant the area with native species.
Kaha Native Plant Garden, located in Kailua at 750 Kaha Street, was developed in 2007 as a living example of how individual homeowners can help improve the local environment through the use of native vegetation and xeriscape gardens.
The Popoi'a Street Storm Water Retro-fit improved a portion of the Kailua Beach Park Complex parking lot (adjacent to Buzz's Steak House) to improve the quality of storm water runoff into Ka'elepulu Stream. Pervious pavers and 360 feet of native plans were installed in the parking area to capture storm water and reduce the amount of pollution reaching the stream.Historically, the parking area consisted of crushed rock fill and sparse non-native plants and during heavy rains, water would transport pollutants directly into the adjacent stream.
The He'eia Estuary Restoration Project, a new HOK project, is a four acre site located at the mouth of He'eia Stream at He'eia State Park. This project entails the removal of invasive plant species to increase habitat for native aquatic species and replanting with native plants will help to reduce erosion and improve water quality.
Volunteers of all ages are welcome to attend workdays at any of the above projects. Upcoming workdays will be held at Kaha Garden on June 16 & August 15, Popoi'a Street Storm Water Retro-fit on June 20 and at the He'eia Estuary Restoration Project on May 9, June 13 & August 8. More information on any of these projects can be found on the Hui o Ko'olaupoko website.
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.