Thanks to Rosie, Ben, and his wife Erica who showed up to join in on the restoration fun. Upon arriving at 9am, it was pouring rain with no end in sight. The group of volunteers were told that it was likely we may not go in if the rain didn’t let up as a) it can be very chilly working while wet and b) it’s hard to do certain restoration work when the ground is saturated.
Upon arriving, we spent some time chatting with the volunteers and for the most part the entire group were regulars who met every week. They were such a wonderful group of people and many of them had recognized Rosie from all the times she ran past them on the trails. It turns out that they were the group who helped rescue a friend of her’s last year who broke his foot while on the trail. Small world.
Around 9:30, we noticed the sun was starting to show through so we decided to hike the 1.5 miles in and ‘see what happens.’ Along the way a student at UH spent the entire hike pointing out the invasive and native plants. It was so incredibly interesting that 90% of the plants in the jungle were not native. Even things you think of like ginger, strawberry guava, avocado, mango, bamboo, macadamia, coffee, none of these things are native to Hawaii!! We learned that you can suck out the nectar from the shoot of the amazing smelling ginger flowers and Erica and Rosie proceeded to consume many flowers along the way. We were even told about a new fruit that was edible that looked like mini pumpkins… Rosie was amazed because she regularly runs these trails and had never seen half the things pointed out to her, including a giant waterfall.
After our amazing learning experience on the hike in, we made it to the work area. It was starting to get nicer but still raining off and on so we decided to do some weeding. We pulled bamboo and let me tell you it was EVERYWHERE!! We spent hours pulling up those shoots by the root. The volunteers continued to point out various species and plants. It was amazing to see all the Koa seedlings sprouting everywhere.
The Manoa cliff group has six acres of land they are restoring and they hope to get the world out about the dangers of invasive species. You can read more about their project here. It was a fantastic day and one of the most fantastic volunteer events we have ever done.
Sorry no pictures from this one.