My first day at the office. I remember waking up early, excited and eager to be at the office. I had a shirt, dress pants and a tie on, looking all professional and then i headed out to search for the office. Upon my arrival, i called Kristen (my boss) because i wasn’t really sure where the office was, so she came out of the office and i was able to locate the office. I went up the stairs and we said our hellos and the first thing she told me was i was too dressed up. In my mind i was like this is a first. I guess the Island is a little bit lax on “official dress code”. We went to the office and she introduced me to the Executive Director Todd Cullison, he welcomed me and i told them both how happy i was to be apart of their organization. A couple of hours later, Kristen and I headed out. She drove me to a couple of their work cites around town and showed me what they did.
The non-profit organization i work with is called Hui o ko’olaupoko and their main mission is “to protect ocean health by restoring the aina(land): mauka to makai (inland to the sea)”. Some of the services they provide are Watershed Planning and Management, Rain gardens and Low Impact Development and Technical Consultation & Training. They were awarded a grant some years back to build rain gardens around the community to reduce storm water runoff. So far they have built about a dozen within the community. For my first week, Kristen and I were mostly out in the field doing maintenance on the rain gardens they built, weeding out weeds, trimming plants and planting new ones.
I must say going out and working on this rain gardens has helped my out in identifying and knowing more about native plants.
Another project the organization is working on is the He’eia Estuary Restoration. The purpose of this project is to enhance water quality and increase the habitat for native aquatic animal species by removing invasive plants and replanting native Hawaiian species along the portion of the He’eia Stream estuary. This project was one of the reasons i chose the organization because it is related to what my research is going to be on. The He’eia Estuary Restoration Project is located at He’eia State park. Its an estimated four acre land that is covered with mangroves and hau bush, where both species have invaded the stream and is trying to make it in accessible. Planting native plants would help in the control erosion, purify storm water runoff and also provide habitat for native species. Also organic materials would go to a compost site and the rest would be used to suppress weed and add nutrients to the soil.
Out and About
Me around town