In this month's project flashback, we take a look at the Hale Imiloa Rain Garden at Windward Community College.
In 2014, Hui o Ko'olaupoko and Windward Community College partnered to install approximately 3,000 square feet of rain gardens and native vegetation in front of Hale 'Imiloa. This Low Impact Retrofit (LIR) is designed to capture storm water run-off from over 18,000 square feet of impervious surface of roof, road and parking lots in three separate rain gardens. The rain gardens trap and infiltrate the storm water run-off before it has a chance to carry pollutants into nearby Kea'ahala Stream and Kāne'ohe Bay.
Prior to construction, the site was covered in monstera and invasive vines. During rainstorms, runoff from the downspouts would flow across the grass and create streams across the sidewalk which students had to dodge on their way to class.
Construction of the site began the week of March 10th, 2014 with excavation and formation of the rain garden basins and berms. Planting of native species took place during the first week of April. Students, professors and community members helped install 2,000 native plants of 18 different species on the site in just three days.
Now, over three years later, the native plants have filled in and the rain gardens are acting as designed. No longer does water flow across the sidewalk for students to dodge. The rain water is all captured in the rain garden basins to infiltrate into the ground and be used by the native plants.
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.