SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Sept. 28, 2012) -- With tool belts, paint brushes and shovels in tow, nearly 100 volunteers headed out to four organizations on Oahu to take part in capital improvement and community service projects for Lend Lease's annual Community Day, Sept. 20.

Two of this year's Community Day beneficiaries were the Hawaii Army Museum located at Fort DeRussy in Waikiki and Fort Shafter Elementary School.

"This project is really important because it will allow us to host more and larger student and community groups," said Vicki Olson, executive director of the Hawaii Army Museum Society, the nonprofit group that supports the museum. "We couldn't begin to afford to do this; we're so appreciative of the support from Lend Lease and its subcontractors and vendors."

Volunteers, which included administrative staff and trades people, worked throughout the day to remove an interior wall, perform electrical work to support humidity controls and to preserve the museum's collections. They added a fresh coat of paint to the museum's exterior fa├žade, too.

"This is the first new coat of paint on the exterior of the former coast artillery bunker in more than a decade," said Olson.

"The museum was such great community project for our team to work on," said Mark Frey, project director of Island Palm Communities.

Lend Lease and the Army are partners in Island Palm Communities. Lend Lease manages the development, design and construction of new homes at U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.

Students at Fort Shafter Elementary School also benefited from Community Day. With grant support from the Lend Lease's U.S. Community Fund, the Clean Water Program, Environmental Division, Directorate of Public Works, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, and Island Palm Communities successfully constructed its second SYNERGY Outdoor Classroom.

SYNERGY is an acronym for "Saving Your Nation's Energy," and the classroom will help complement the school's sustainability curriculum.

A nine-foot tall, 3,000 gallon rainwater harvesting tank is the centerpiece of the outdoor classroom; it's surrounded by raised planter boxes where students grow a variety of plants, including Native Hawaiian species.

"The rainwater harvesting system provides a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about conserving one of our most valuable natural resources, and they'll learn about the many benefits of reusing it," said Hayley Diamond of DPW's Clean Water Program.

Volunteers helped install the rainwater harvesting system, construct planter boxes, shovel and haul dirt, install plants and paint.

Community Day is a Lend Lease global initiative that began in 1996. Employees have donated more than 500,000 hours, worldwide, to community projects.

Page last updated Fri September 28th, 2012 at 22:38