The Office of Maunakea Management (OMKM) Mālama Maunakea volunteer day was held on Saturday, August 20 as part of its Mālama Maunakea campaign to protect the resources on the mountain.
OMKM organizes volunteer weed pulls monthly to control fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) and other invasive plant species around the Halepōhaku area on Maunakea at the 9,000 foot elevation. The fireweed pull helps to keep this invasive species from being transported to the upper elevation areas of Maunakea. Every OMKM volunteer weed pull helps to prepare the area for future restoration projects.
More than 20 community volunteers participated in the weed pull including a school group from Keaau’s Christian Liberty Academy, island businesses and community members.
Saturday began with a project orientation and acclimation to the high elevation for the volunteers followed by a two-hour weed pull, lunch and an informative lecture on the Maunakea resources.
The invasive species weed pulls began in 2012 and have proved to be quite successful with more than 1,000 participants volunteering 7,000 hours and pulling 1,523 garbage bags of weeds on 37 separate locations.
The Office of Maunakea Management is this year’s recipient of the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce Pualu Award for Environmental Awareness. This award recognizes the work of organizations that exhibit sensitivity and concern for the environment through innovative environmental practices.
—A news story from the Office of Maunakea Management