For the past year, The Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) has opened the gates to its 8-acre Kihei Boat House property during monthly Kākoʻo iā Kahoʻolawe work days. With grant support through the Atherton Family Foundation, Hawaii Tourism Authority and Hawaii Community Foundation, hundreds of Maui residents and visitors have volunteered their time during these cleanup days in preparation for the imminent Kahoʻolawe educational walking trail, native plant nursery and traditional hale building projects.
With a new grant through the Maui County Product Enrichment Program (CPEP), the KIRC will continue the monthly Kāko'o iā Kahoʻolawe work days, propagating plants for Kahoʻolawe while exchanging history and information about the Reserve, and implement the Mahinaʻai Nights series; guided tours of the walking trail featuring historical information and stories of Kahoʻolawe, with live entertainment at the new hale and food vendors offering dinner.
"Our Kihei site is the first point of contact for all community volunteers accessing Kahoʻolawe, as it is where our vessel - the ʻOhua - is housed," says KIRC Executive Director Mike Nāhoʻopiʻi, "Cultivating the area responds to a strong demand for information and shared experiences for those that cannot commit to the 4-day volunteer restoration access trips on-island. We see this as an important step in strengthening understanding of and connection to Kahoʻolawe for all residents and visitors".
These important community-building events invite individuals and groups to participate directly in the function and form of this developing public space, while caring for our community, raising awareness about Kahoʻolawe and inspiring and empowering our citizenry to conserve our environment. All are welcome.
For a list of upcoming event dates, visit http://kahoolawe.hawaii.gov/volunteer.shtml. Events are free & open to the public.