About Town: 02-01-20

  • The Feb. 8 event is part of the Office of Maunakea Management’s ongoing Malama Maunakea efforts to protect the resources on the mountain by helping to control fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) and other invasive plant species around Maunakea’s 9,000-foot elevation. (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Volunteers needed to pull weeds on Maunakea

Volunteers are needed by the Office of Maunakea Management to take part in 2020’s first Malama Maunakea Volunteer Invasive Species Weed Pull.

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The Feb. 8 event is part of the Office of Maunakea Management’s ongoing Malama Maunakea efforts to protect the resources on the mountain by helping to control fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) and other invasive plant species around Maunakea’s 9,000-foot elevation.

Eradicating invasive species and weeds helps to reduce habitat for invasive ants, prevent unwanted invasive species from being transported to the upper elevation areas of Maunakea, and prepares the surrounding area for future native plant restoration projects, according to OMKM.

The Malama Maunakea campaign connects community volunteers to help in resource management and stewardship of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve and mid-level support facilities at Halepohaku. Since its launch in 2012, 57 weed pulls have been organized with nearly 1,500 community volunteers taking part providing over 10,000 volunteer hours. In all, more than 2,300 garbage bags of weeds have been removed. OMKM has also planted more than 300 native plants near Halepohaku.

Saturday’s project gets started at 9 a.m. and will wrap up about 11:30 a.m. Volunteers are asked to meet at the gravel parking lot below the Visitors Information Station located around the 9,000-foot elevation. The weed pull will focus on the area near Halepohaku and the Visitor Information Station. OMKM will provide gloves and tools, light snacks and drinking water.

About 11:30 am, interested volunteers will embark on a short interpretive walk ending this fulfilling morning of stewardship on the mountain.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring water, sunglasses, sunscreen, sun protection, light rain gear, warm clothing, hiking boots or good walking shoes. A long-sleeve shirt, long pants, sun-hat, and layers to protect from wind or wet and cool weather are recommended. Families are welcome.

Gala benefits Rotary Club of Kona Mauka

Rotary Club of Kona Mauka hosts its annual Valentine Wine Tasting Fundraiser from next Saturday in Holualoa.

From 4-8 p.m. Feb. 8 at Holualoa Inn’s beautiful Maluhia Pavilion, the event will feature fine wines that include a sommelier experience, delicious food, sumptuous desserts, music and dancing, and an elegant and varied silent auction.

Proceeds will provide scholarships to local students and community service projects. This past year, the club is supporting literacy by installing Little Libraries throughout Kona, where people can borrow and donate books.

Kona Mauka Rotary has awarded more than $250,000 since 1967. Some of the Kona Mauka Rotary projects include helping with the restoration project at St. Benedict’s Painted Church, helping at the International Billfish Tournament, restoration projects at the Kona Adult Day Care Center, and providing playground equipment at Honaunau Elementary School. To celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Hawaii the club was instrumental in purchasing in planting 100 trees along the new community walking and running path near West Hawaii Civic Center.

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More recently, Kona Mauka Rotary purchased the PA system for Laaloa Beach (Magic Sands) lifeguards through the Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation and donated $20,000 to the Aloha Theatre to help with restoring the building’s facade.

Tickets for the Valentine’s Day Wine Tasting Fundraiser are available on Eventbrite.com (search for Kona Mauka Rotary) or by calling (808) 896-2397. Open seating is $100 per person. Reserved tables of 10 are available for $125 per person.

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