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Waikalualoko Fishpond Work Day: Report

We hope everyone had a great of time at the fishpond! It was a very well organized event. Unfortunately most of us had trouble finding the location and all ended up at Kaneohe beach park, where we asked for instructions from a local guy sitting in his car. It was definitely a bad area but we made it safely out! Continuing on, we left in a giant line of cars and made another wrong turn down in to a neighborhood where we grabbed another lady who happened to be walking outside. She wasn’t as helpful but luckily we got the street name from Jerome and we made it with only minutes to spare. It was probably a funny sight for the organizers to see at least 10 cars come streaming in one after another… we’d even picked up a few non HIC folks in our massive line o’ cars.

Starting out we did our registration and they had breakfast available:  apples, strawberries, oranges and pb&j sandwiches. We gathered in a large circle and did a Hawaiian prayer and ceremony to ask for permission to enter the land to work. They did shout-outs to all the groups in attendance and then broke us up in to four work groups. To the dismay of some in attendance we were not assigned to actually work in the pond. We were assigned to non biological waste pickup aka picking up trash.

We made our way with wheelbarrows and tools over to a nearby hill and they put us in this crazy zig zag line of people. So each person barely made a movement and there was a human chain to move this garbage down the mountain. Rosie started out at the bottom, but soon Gordon’s exclamations of ‘OMG.. GROSS… ACCCKKKKKKK’ made her curious so she started her way up the hill and happily stayed there for the rest of the day.

It was literally a mountain of garbage people had just thrown in the hills. Piles on piles of it. Much of it was very degraded and the bags were literally falling apart so it made it difficult to remove without piles of goop dribbling out on to you. Things were in various stages of decay and lets just say we saw more bugs, and general grossness than most people see on an average weekend 🙂 It was so wonderful getting that heinous garbage out of such a beautiful area even though it took hours and hours to remove it all with a big team of people. Special shout-outs to Gordon and Josh for really digging in and getting rid of the nastiest of the muck.

Some of the team were assigned to remove invasive limu and red mangrove seed pods from the fishpond. Using hand rakes, large buckets, and a couple flat-bottom boats, the group extracted over 2.5 tons of limu & mangrove seeds. Local farmers will later use the processed limu for fertilizer.

We worked from 8:30ish till around noon at which point we went back to the shade of the tent, washed our gloves and cleaned up, and ate some more snacks. They even ordered pizza and made brownies. Everyone that was part of this event was amazing and they really took care of the volunteers. Everyone was super friendly and we can’t wait to go back. We would never have seen such a beautiful hidden area of the island if not for this workday and it was fun to hang out with everyone after the event.

Next time, we’ll request that they put us in the water. Hopefully this will be April 13th.

BIG thanks to the HIC members and their partners who attended as this was by far the biggest event yet. We’re so happy people came out to take part and we hope they weren’t scared off by all the garbage.

Hour Count:

  • 56 hours labor
  • 3 hours set up and planning

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