Volunteers Clean Up at Puʻuhonua o HōnaunauJanuary 13, 2019, 8:53 AM HST (Updated January 16, 2019, 11:49 AM)
Blue Zones Project coordinated a volunteer cleanup of over 75 volunteers to support cleanup efforts at Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. This cleanup was prompted by the impacts created by the closure of the park due to the ongoing federal government shutdown.
Blue Zones Project is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to lifestyle, environment, policy, and social networks. Supported through an innovative sponsorship by HMSA, research finds that community members who come together to volunteer tend to live happier and longer lives. Volunteering also creates a greater sense of pride for your community and strengthened relationships.
The goal of this cleanup was to protect a Hawaiian sacred space and the historic features at the park. When there was a need to help steward the park in absence of park staff, community members came together. Within the past week, small groups of community members visited the national park to take out trash and clean areas where needed. The cleanup had over 75 participants.
“I’m amazed by the outpouring of support that our community has shared,” said Kirstin Kahaloa, community engagement lead for Blue Zones Project. “Their aloha for Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau is huge. This event was planned quickly due to the urgency of need and in a few short days, over 75 people showed up to mālama this community treasure.”
Blue Zones Project provided trash bags, gloves and healthy snacks for all volunteers. To date, 2,000 residents on Hawaiʻi Island have given of their time to volunteer in our community with Blue Zones Project. The next volunteer project with be held on Monday, Jan. 21, on Martin Luther King Jr.’s National Day of Service with the Liliʻuokalani Trust at their preserve in Kona from 9 a.m. to noon to remove invasive species from the area.