Sparked by enthusiastic, willing-to-work community members from Waikoloa Village, we held a work morning at our Waikoloa Dryland Wildfire Safety Park at the end of Melia Pl. The most recent rain events have spurred our native plants to run wild and even blossom, creating a dynamic ecosystem that mirrors that of the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve. Native plants such as 'Ihi, 'Ilima papa, 'Ulei, and Pohinahina are in full bloom and are definitely worth checking out. These native, drought-tolerant plants are not only worth planting for their beauty, but can also provide a living fuelbreak around your home.
Where and when there is rain, however, there is other not so desirable growth. Community members have taken note of recent weedy arrivals and asked if they could help remove them. We could always use the help and gladly responded by holding a Community Work Morning. Our team of volunteers received some pointers on which weeds to pull out, as some of the "weeds" were actually native to Hawaii. During such hard work, we were all still able to share stories about wildfires experienced in Hawaii and the mainland.
Monte Anglin, one of the volunteers and a resident near the garden explained what the Waikoloa Dryland Wildfire Safety Park means to him:
“It is really great to see some native plants and growth be developed and maintained anywhere in the state, but especially here in the dry area of Waikoloa. It’s just amazing. And the people that did the concept and tore out the old, messy, ugly stuff that was here a couple of years ago really need to be commended for the foresight and the energy to come forth and do this. I really appreciate it.”
Banner photo: Tom Loomis, HWMO Garden Manager (Left) and Pablo Beimler, HWMO Education & Outreach Coordinator (Right) pose with Waikoloa Village volunteers after a hard morning's work.