by Miki‘ala Lidstone
On Thursday, volunteers of the garden at Pu‘uokapolei found plants dead and rubbish from a month ago still piled and not picked up by the city. The garden was planted in 2005 by the Kapolei Hawaiian Civic Club and community organizations. Today, the Ulu A‘e Learning Center cares for the garden under the City And County’s Adopt A Park program.
“Many organizations care for this garden, not just us,” says Miki‘ala Lidstone, executive director of Ulu A‘e Learning Center. “The Bahai Faith group, school clubs, hula schools, kūpuna – they all care for this place. Mostly, though, it’s the keiki who do much of the planting and watering on a consistent basis.”
During the months of June, July, and early August, keiki hand watered the plants 3-4 times a week. When the mayor announced that he would be shutting down parks on August 27, the garden was green, neat and flourishing. “Now it looks like a dead mess,” says Lidstone.
Lidstone says prior to the shutdown, she called the leeward parks office and emailed the director about her concerns that the plants would die. I was told that the city would take care of the area and remove the trash pile that had been sitting for over a month.
“We want the city to replant all the dead plants, to clean the area and to remove the trash. We want that done today,” says Lidstone.
Pu‘uokapolei was designated as a State Historic Site and a Traditional Cultural Property (TCP) on July 31, 2020 by the Hawaii Historic Places Review Board. The board also recommended Pu‘uokapolei to the National Historic Registry as a TCP.
For more information contact Miki‘ala at (808) 864-0013.