By Diane Ako
Nearly 100 volunteers spent their Saturday restoring two rarely accessible cultural sites in Hawaiʿi Kai - Hāwea Heiau and Keawawa Wetland - for The Trust for Public Land community workday known as “A Day on the Land.”
The work included removing invasive plants and trees, removing fencepost stumps, and replanting native greenery under the guidance of the community nonprofit Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, which now owns and stewards this special place.
Keawawa wetland is home to a number of endangered species, including ʿalae ʿula (Hawaiian moor hen), ʿaukuʿu (Black-crowned night heron) and pinao (Hawaiian dragonfly). The five-acre property contains petroglyphs, a heiau and ahu (altar), agricultural terraces, and one of the oldest niu (coconut) groves on Oʿahu. Once slated for development, the site is now a community-owned and managed Hawaiian cultural heritage preserve.
Workday participants included The Trust for Public Land's local donors, board members, and sponsoring companies that sent volunteer teams of employees. "We are especially thrilled about local corporate supporters -- most of our volunteers came from Hawaiian Electric , HMSA, Morgan Stanley, and Alaska Airlines" said Leslie Uptain, The Trust for Public Land's Director of Philanthropy.
"This is important work because The Trust for Public Land is a nonprofit organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as gardens, parks, and natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since 1979, we have conserved over 42,000 acres of land across Hawai‘i." To volunteer or learn more, contact Leslie.Uptain@tpl.org or 808-524-8694.