By Amy Bugala, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public AffairsApril 20, 2012
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Soldiers and Department of the Army civilians are invited to help restore one of Oahu's most beautiful treasures during a joint Earth Day activity at Kaena Point State Park Reserve, April 28.
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, in partnership with the Department of Land and Natural Resources, or DLNR, is mobilizing volunteers from the Army-Hawaii and environmental communities for a community clean up event at the park, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Volunteers are needed to pick-up trash and marine debris along the three-mile stretch of shoreline and provide support to mark the main and shoreline road alignments by emplacing rocks and small boulders along the paths.
"We all share responsibility for the care and maintenance of this special place," said Annelle Amaral, Native Hawaiian liaison, USAG-HI, who is spearheading the effort as one of the many USAG-HI Earth Day service projects in April that focus on environmental stewardship and sustainability.
"This Earth Month service project is an opportunity for the Army to come together with our neighbors and 'malama the aina,' or care for our community and state lands," she said.
Located on the northwest tip of Oahu, Kaena Point is a popular location for recreational enthusiasts islandwide.
According to biologists, Kaena Point is one of the last intact dune ecosystems in the main Hawaiian islands and is home to a variety of rare migratory birds and native plants, including 11 federally endangered species.
DLNR's Division of Forestry and Wildlife says the park is also an ancient fishing and burial location sacred to many Native Hawaiians, providing a place where many generations of families come to fish and collect salt.
Unfortunately, years of irresponsible recreational activities, including off-roading, have contributed to the deterioration of Kaena Point, and threatened the natural and cultural resources at the park.
"Restoration of Kaena Point is going to take an all of us effort; it's a 'kakou thing,'" Amaral said. "This joint Earth Day event is a great way to give back."
Army units and civilians interested in volunteering must register by calling 655-9694, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by April 25. Volunteers must be 14 years old or older and should dress for hot, dry and windy conditions.
Sturdy shoes, hat and sunscreen are recommended. Soldier volunteers should wear military-affiliated attire or unit T-shirts. Water, trash bags and gloves will be available, however volunteers should bring their own water bottles. Pets are not allowed at the park.
The Kaena Point State Park Reserve is located at the end of Farrington Highway (Highway 930). It is about 10 miles west of Waialua on the North Shore at the end of Mokuleia. Free parking is available.
Throughout the month of April, many organizations on Oahu, as well as within U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's Island Palm Communities and the Directorate of Public Works, are recognizing Earth Month with free family events.
•April 20, various times/locations, the Amazing Tree Race. Celebration of the national observance of Arbor Day tree planting will take place on four installations:
-10 a.m. Fort Shafter;
-noon, Aliamanu Military Reservation;
-2 p.m., Helemano Military Reservation;
-4 p.m., Wheeler Army Airfield.
Tree-planting ceremonies are the first step in attaining Tree City USA recognition for each installation. Call 687-8313.
•April 21, 7:30 a.m.-noon, Mauka to Makai Bike Path Cleanup. Meet at Blaisdell Park in Honolulu to assist in the cleanup of the Bike Path that stretches from Pearl Harbor to Waipahu. Call 438-1600, ext. 3307.
•April 22, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Kahanahaiki, Makua Military Reservation. Volunteer service trip to clean out invasive weeds for two hours along a moderately challenging trail. Hike will include a detour to view Makua Valley and leeward coast. Volunteer application must have been received at Oahu Army Natural Resource Program two weeks prior to this event. Minimum age is 14. Call 656-7741.
•April 24, time/specific motor pool to be determined. Live demonstration of bio-based "green" products. Call 656-3103.
•April 25, 10:30-11 a.m., Schofield Barracks. Tour Hale Kula Elementary School. Learn about the school's Sustainable Outdoor Classroom through student-led tours of the working garden, rainwater harvesting system and native plant gardens. Call 656-3086.
•April 25, 2-3 p.m., 1st Lt. Brostrom Community Center, Fort Shafter. Storm drain marker emplacement. Soldier-supported activity to mark storm drains with the important pollution prevention messages. Call 656-3086.
•April 25, 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m., Planet Earth movie night at the Aliamanu Military Reservation Community Center.
•April 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Fort Shafter Flats, Earth Day Festival.