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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com or telephone (808) 383-4917.
More information on gorilla ogo is available here:
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.