Volunteers Needed to Restore KHS Native Forest

December 4, 2019, 7:27 AM HST (Updated December 4, 2019, 7:27 AM)
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Kona Historical Society is reaching out to the public to assist in clearing out invasive plants from its native forest at the nonprofit’s Kalukalu Headquarters, located at 81-6551 Mamalahoa Highway in Kealakekua.

KHS received a $10,000 grant to support its Native Forest Program. The funding has allowed the nonprofit to improve and sustain its care of the forest, established in 2004.

Volunteers are needed to assist with removing invasive plants, weeding, applying mulch, planting native species and clearing pathways. Workdays will take place on Dec. 14, Jan. 11 and Feb. 15. Work will start at 9 a.m. on each of those days and end at noon. Approximately 20 volunteers are needed each day. Anyone ages 7 or older may volunteer so long as they are in good physical condition and comfortable with working in sun and heat and on uneven terrain.

Also, children ages 7-17 must have a guardian sign a liability waiver and volunteers younger than age 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

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No prior experience is necessary to volunteer. Kona Historical Society is providing rakes, shovels, loppers and hand tools, as well as light refreshments. Volunteers should bring their own gloves.

The goal is to restore the forest to its glory and strengthen community ties to these native plants. Once completed, Kona Historical Society staff will demonstrate the historical relationships between canoe builders, farmers, fisherman, ranchers, cowboys and the Kona’s landscape through interpretive tours and programming with an emphasis on Native Hawaiian culture. The offering of regular community service opportunities in the forest are also planned.

Over the next few months, Kona Historical Society will be improving pathways in the forest and completing the original pathway plan. Ten endemic, indigenous and Polynesian-introduced plants were selected and will be planted. Signage about these plants and their traditional usages and value will be installed.

For more information, call Kona Historical Society at 808-323-3222 or visit www.konahistorical.org. To get the latest updates regarding Kona Historical Society programs, historic sites and special events.

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