OMKM Expands Maunakea Restoration Efforts
The Office of Maunakea Management (OMKM) holds a volunteer weed pull day on select Saturdays as part of its Mālama Maunakea campaign to protect the mountain’s resources. Volunteer weed pulls are helping prepare certain areas for planned restoration projects to replant native species.
The most recent weed pull was held on Saturday, Nov. 4. Twenty-seven volunteers from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s Pre-Pharmacy, Biology and Sociology classes, including faculty members Dr. Alton Okinaka and Jenni Guillen, collected 25 garbage bags of fireweed during the event.
OMKM has held 49 separate weed pulls since the invasive species campaign began in 2012. To date, 1,176 community volunteers have helped the effort, gathering 1,847 garbage bags of weeds.
OMKM is in the process of propagating plants for future restoration efforts in the Halepōhaku area, and plans to install a roughly 375 square-foot greenhouse to cultivate these native plants for restoration activities. The greenhouse was described in the recently published Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Determination for Infrastructure Improvements at the Maunakea Visitor Information Station featured in OMKM’s Sept. 6, 2017, newsletter.
Once constructed, the greenhouse will allow OMKM to expand Mālama Maunakea volunteer days to include not only removal of invasive species like fireweed, but also restoration related efforts including greenhouse maintenance and replanting native species. The organization’s long-term goal is to restore the area around the visitor information station with native plants.