Three of us met up early Saturday morning for 3.5 hours of work at Nā Pōhaku o Hauwahine. Nā Pōhaku o Hauwahine is the name of a 12-acre piece of state property under the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of State Parks and part of the Kawainui State Park Reserve. The parcel is located along Kapa‘a Quarry Road in Kailua overlooking Kawai Nui Marsh. It is a place of unique geological and cultural features where plants native to the Hawaiian Islands are planted for the enjoyment and education of visitors. It is also an experiment in recreating a landscape now lost on Oahu. Development of the “park” reflects the efforts of many, many volunteers under the guidance of ‘Ahahui Mālama i ka Lōkahi (AML). The park is open to the public for easy day-hiking.
Upon arriving we said our greetings and started the day by asking a prayer to be allowed in to this sacred Native Hawaiian site. From there the supervisor took us on a tour of the area and talked about the native plants and the work the group is doing. The area is in a tremendous drought and most of the water and wetlands are all but dried up right now.
Upon finishing our tour, there were only a handful of us along with the regular volunteers and we promptly split in to two work groups. Deanna, Rosie, and another local high school kid decided they’d help with re-building a log ‘fence’ that was showing some wear. This fence lined the entrance to the beginning of the trail and was visible from the road. For hours we hefted heavy logs, dug ditches in the dirt, hacked away at roots and weeds and worked hard in the hot sun. Our favorite part was the super nice guy overseeing us who used his machetes to open coconuts for us to drink and we found many cool treasures in the dirt while we dug – from lizard eggs to quartz crystals.
All in all, it was a fantastic day and we’re so glad we got to experience and see yet another area of our beautiful island.
Thank you Rosie, Deanna, and Josh for coming and being so supportive of the HIC volunteer effort. Next up, a doggie coin drive, adopting a family and one last beach cleanup Dec 15th.