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Help Lahainaluna renew its Agricultural Department

By Staff | May 12, 2011

As Walter Chihara reported in last week’s issue, a major community effort is underway to revitalize the Lahainaluna High School Agricultural Department.

The campaign began with Hawaiian Dredging clearing an overgrown five-acre tract near the Band Room, and tractors from Kaanapali Land Management Corp. tilling the fields.

Then, at the first work day in March, nearly 100 volunteers gathered to support the historic school’s once-thriving agricultural program. Volunteers from Community Work Day Program (CWD), Ace Hardware and Job Corps, as well as Lahainaluna students, teachers and alumni, restored areas previously utilized by the school’s ag program.

In an effort to demonstrate water conservation techniques, irrigation and plants were purchased and installed by the county Department of Water Supply. Together with the West Maui Watershed, native plantings create the foundation for Lahainaluna’s new native nursery. The group also created a beautiful walkway with native plants leading down to the future site of a wetland taro lo’i.

The group put in more than 14 hours of work on the project, with Lulu’s Lahaina, Paradise Found Crepery and Tropic water providing food and drinks.

What’s next? Volunteers will return to the scenic campus on Saturday, May 14, for CWD’s next Agriculture Department Work Day from 9 a.m. to noon.

Matt Lane of Community Work Day said many exciting projects are slated, including planting a fruit tree orchard, planting rare varieties of breadfruit from the Breadfruit Institute in Hana, restoring native plants, spreading mulch and laying irrigation.

Lahainaluna teachers, students, community members and local businesses are encouraged to volunteer their time, tools and treasures on Saturday and beyond to help restore the school’s agricultural program.

According to Lane, future plans at Lahainaluna High School involve various groups finishing both dry and wetland taro lo’i, installing a greenhouse, building a farmers’ market, stocking the aquaculture house and putting the planted fields into production.

Part of CWD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Communities Putting Prevention to Work” campaign to help build more than 18 gardens in Maui County this year, the Lahainaluna project is valuable on many levels.

The Luna farm will promote wellness in children and adults, teach students important skills and responsibility, increase physical activity, improve nutrition and produce high-quality food in the Lahaina community.

Going forward, donations of fruit trees, native plants, materials, construction equipment and volunteer support are needed for this county-wide effort.

Join in this amazing project to renew the Agriculture Department at Lahainaluna. For information, contact Lane at 877-2524, 357-0920 or matt@cwdhawaii.org.