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Volunteers to beautify Lahaina from Launiupoko to Canoes

By Staff | Sep 17, 2009

Educational booths will be set up in Kamehameha Iki Park.

LAHAINA — Five-hundred volunteers are sought for the fifth annual Lahaina Town Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 19.

Beginning at 9 a.m. at Kamehameha Iki Park next to 505 Front Street, the project will span over four square miles in just three hours.

With hundreds of volunteers, the goal is to clean from Launiupoko Beach Park to Canoes Restaurant, from the beach to Honoapiilani Highway, and from Lahainaluna High School down to the beach. 

Anyone wishing to get involved just needs to show up, although organizers encourage participants to bring their own work gloves and water.

“We really want to bring together our Lahaina community in a positive effort to clean up… I really hope that there are so many people that we have to expand the cleanup the day of,” said organizer Matt Lane.

He added that students at Lahainaluna High School contribute greatly to the effort.

“They have really represented the town in this effort for years,” he said.

The Lahaina Town Cleanup is unique in its use of bio-friendly products, including bags, cups and cutlery.

“We try our best to be a zero waste event,” said Lane. “This year, some of the schools are composting all the material we use for… education. There will be a recycling center and compost station run by the Lahaina Skate Company. All food, materials and water are provided by local sponsors.”

This year’s event will also focus on education and consumerism — teaching volunteers about the benefits of using biodegradable products and how to reduce waste by making smarter purchases.

The Lahaina Town Cleanup will continue into the evening with a skate demo by Lahaina Skate Company and a series of movies. One of the films is a 30-minute educational preview to “Fuel,” which won “Best Documentary” and “Viewer’s Choice” at Sundance this year. A free educational video curriculum is also available for any interested local teachers or schools.

“It is our personal goal to help educate everyone there and make them feel a greater sense of community,” said Lane.

“Financially, the way we chose to do this is not cheap, but it’s the right way. We are not just cleaning up the town, we are learning to change the way we live and consume every day… This is one of the best things I have ever been a part of. It’s not often that this many people give up their day to do something physical like this…(It’s) a forward step in education and choosing to do the right thing.”

For more information, or to contribute to the project, contact Lane at m_lane@hotmail.com.

In related news, Community Work Day Program (CWD) will hold the “Get the Drift and Bag It” cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 19.

“Litter and trash on land poses as much a threat to marine life as it does in the water,” commented CWD Executive Director Rhiannon Chandler. 

“The winds blow land-based trash for miles across our islands, carrying it over roadways, down waterways and out to the shoreline.” 

CWD encourages businesses and residents of Maui Nui to participate in “Get the Drift and Bag It!” by gathering their family and friends and adopting a site in their neighborhood. 

Community Work Day will gladly provide trash bags, latex gloves, safety vests for roadside cleanups and other cleanup supplies for projects.

To participate in this upcoming event, or for more information, contact CWD at 877-2524 or info@cwdhawaii.org.

“Get the Drift and Bag It!” is held in conjunction with the Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup.

Shoreline marine debris cleanups will be held across the globe on Saturday, allowing volunteers the opportunity to take action to improve the health of our ocean.