On June 17th at Alakoko Fishpond on the beautiful island of Kauaʻi, over 100 dedicated volunteers joined forces for a memorable Community Kōkua Day. Our team at SCH proudly stood alongside Mālama Hulēʻia and Hōkūala Kauaʻi (Timber's Resort), seizing the opportunity to lend a helping hand. This event was a testament to the power of community and the shared commitment to protecting and preserving our precious coastlines.
With a diverse group of volunteers, the tasks at Alakoko Fishpond became light work. The day commenced with an oli (chant), setting a reverent tone and creating a space for connection. Each volunteer had the chance to introduce themselves, share their origins, and express who they wished to bring into this collective effort. This exchange reminded everyone of the intrinsic value of community involvement in the work being done.
To maximize the impact of the Community Kōkua Day, the volunteers were divided into three groups, each assigned to a specific activity. The first group participated in a manaʻo sharing session, where Sara Bowen, Executive Director of Mālama Hulēʻia, and others shared insights into the history of Alakoko Fishpond and its ongoing significance for the community. They also provided valuable information on various ways to get involved in their important work.
Another group focused on pili grass seed gathering and planting. Jason, an enthusiastic volunteer, shared his knowledge on the necessity of pili grass and its role in maintaining the ecosystem around Alakoko Fishpond. Volunteers were treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape as they carefully collected seeds and planted the grass, knowing they were contributing to the restoration of this unique habitat.
The final activity involved sorting pōhaku (stones) under the guidance of Punohu and Jimmy. Volunteers formed two lines, working in unison to pick, sort, and transfer the pōhaku from one side of the road to the other. This hands-on task showcased the power of teamwork and symbolized the collective effort required to rejuvenate the fishpond.
As the day drew to a close and after a well-deserved lunch, Sara Bowen, Joy Stedman, and Rafael Bergstrom addressed the volunteers, expressing gratitude for their dedication and hard work. The atmosphere was filled with a sense of accomplishment and appreciation for the positive impact they had made on Alakoko Fishpond and the surrounding community.