Dwayne Mukai, president of Kumamoto Kenjin Kai, and Rev. Jeffrey Soga, Rimban for Hawaii Island’s Hongwanji join in the conversation some years ago.
Three years ago, when Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens just got started, a group of volunteers and members of the board met with Ebi Kondo, curator of the Japanese garden at Denver Botanic. Top on the list of things to do was thin the overgrown bamboo thicket.
This week, Friday and Saturday July 17 and 18, we finally have the approvals and equipment needed to accomplish this task AND combine it with an educational element.
Please join in the fun Friday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. The first part of each day will be clearing and thinning and organizing materials. The second part of each day will offer craft workshops on how to make large and small items from bamboo.
The event is free and open to the public. Bamboo Fun in the Garden is co-sponsored by Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens and the Hawaii Island Chapter of the American Bamboo Society with the cooperation of the Department of Parks & Recreation.
Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens board members were joined by Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Trust Hilo Children’s Center director Lance Niimi and East Hawaii Master Gardener Daghild Rick, among others, for a test clearing of the bamboo thicket in June.
Additional participants are expected from East Hawaii Master Gardeners Association, Rotary Clubs, Sierra Club, Fukushima Kenjin Kai, Moku Aina, and the nearby Naniloa Hotel.
Workshop presenters are anticipated to start around 11 a.m.
All participants are reminded to be mindful of safety. Please bring eye and ear protection and wear closed-toe shoes. Shoes need not be boots, but your toes should be covered. If you are going to work with bamboo, please bring gloves.
Materials will be provided to all workshop participants to take home.
Here is an example of a properly thinned bamboo patch with a path through the middle.
For the health of the plant, bamboo should be thinned as in the photo above — loose with air and light coming into the center and a path or two winding through the patch. You can see each individual stalk of bamboo, but still have the effect of a forest.
Meet at the bamboo thicket in Lili`uokalani Gardens for work and play Friday and Saturday, July 17 & 18