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Native seedlings at Hanakao‘o have room to grow thanks to WMK volunteers

By Staff | Oct 17, 2013

West Maui County Councilwoman Elle Cochran pitched in during the Oct. 5 weeding event.

LAHAINA – Dedicated community members plucked weeds, pruned leaves and hauled out over three pickup truck loads of green waste on Saturday, Oct. 5, in an effort to maintain the Hanakao’o Cemetery slope (Canoe Beach), which is home to 1,000 native seedlings planted during a previous community effort.

This was no easy task; luckily, volunteers had a bit of a head start thanks to community members who regularly tend to the area.

On a related note, a couple of weeks ago, volunteer regulars found something unexpected at the site: sweet potato vines!

Vines had been planted in the tiny soil plots carefully crafted for the seedlings.

While West Maui Kumuwai is all for “guerilla gardening,” these seedlings are a collection of dozens of varieties of native plants that cannot compete with some nonnative species.

Volunteers hauled out more than three pickup truck loads of green waste.

When fully established, the plants will stabilize the slope, reduce the amount of soil runoff reaching the ocean and be a beautiful display of Native Hawaiian plants.

Guerilla gardeners: join WMK’s effort to maintain this site, or let WMK help plan your next mission – with native plants – in a site that needs some plant love.

Looking to get involved? Contact Tova Callender at 214-4239 or tova@ westmauir2r.com. To learn more about WMK and ways you can take action for our ocean, visit www.westmauikumuwai.org.

West Maui Kumuwai is focused on reducing land-based sources of pollution that can harm our ocean. The campaign offers ways in which individuals can take action to curb these pollutants at home, in their yard or through community projects.

WMK partners with retailers to highlight lawn care products that are less harmful to the ocean, as well as with landscapers committed to approaching yard care with the ocean in mind.

By asking individuals and businesses to pledge their commitment, by supporting the work of community groups and non-profits, and by sharing the stories of everyday ocean heroes, WMK is committed to protecting our ocean and unique West Maui way of life.

The collaborative effort is made up of Maui community members, individuals from non-profits, state and federal agencies, and local businesses.

The campaign’s strategy is supported by the nonprofit SeaWeb Asia Pacific with funding provided by NOAA Coral.

WMK also supports the efforts of the West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative. To learn more, visit www.westmauikumuwai.org.