Clean the Pond

UPDATE: The next pond cleaning day is Saturday, March 17, from 8 a.m. to noon. The current tally on muck removed is 2,875 gallons.

Cleaning Waihonu, the pond at the heart of Lili`uokalani Gardens, is top of the maintenance priority list for Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens. Starting in October 2016, Friends and volunteers under the direction of board member Alton Okinaka have removed more than 2,700 gallons of mud, muck, and debris.

The next volunteer day is Saturday, January 27, from 8 a.m. to noon. There also are land-based chores for those who do not want to get in the pond. Some protective gear (gloves, tabi) are provided. Participants are advised to wear gardening clothes and closed-toe shoes.

debris from demolished homes and businesses ended up in Waihonu during the 1960 tsunami along with tons of mud (photo from the Pacific Tsunami Museum collection on the wall at Coqui’s restaurant Tsunami Room)

The effort has concentrated on removing muck immediately adjacent to the stone edging the pond and three feet from the edge into the pond. This will better enable future mechanized cleaning of the entire pond without further damaging the stone edge.

University of Hawaii-Hilo students, Hilo Y’s Men, and Representative Chris Todd join in the pond cleaning effort where the mud is de-watered before hauling to a nearby farm

Also on the removal list is an invasive seaweed called gorilla ogo (Gracilaria salicornia). As the invasive is removed, native seaweed growth is restored.

Repair of the stone edge around the pond including restoration of a suhama (smooth stone beach) on the bay side goes hand in hand with pond remediation. Having a healthy pond is part of restoring the more desirable fish populations.

Fourth graders from a pond science class in Keaukaha form a bucket brigade to help remove mud

To volunteer for this or future garden work days, please refer to the Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens page on Facebook or contact Alton Okinaka at alton@hawaii.edu or telephone (808) 383-4917.

More information on gorilla ogo is available here:
https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/info/invasive-species-profiles/gorilla-ogo/

Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens is a 501(c)(3) non-profit operating on a Memorandum of Understanding with the County of Hawaii Department of Parks & Recreation. Friends work to provide maintenance on special projects, raise funds for capital improvements, and plan events to celebrate the centennial of the gardens 2017-2019.

 

Categories: Hawaii, Hilo | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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