Papahana Kualoa provides cultural service opportunity

Before spring break, Sacred Hearts Academy juniors gave back to the community by way of the land.

As part of their annual community service day, the juniors visited Papahana Kuaola in Kaneohe. The nonprofit focuses on environmental restoration and economic sustainability, which is the class of 2018’s theme this year.

Upon arriving to the 63-acre site, the juniors were assigned different tasks. One group pulled out weeds on dry land, while another group pulled out weeds in the mud.

“Digging out the weeds required strength and intellect,” junior Jocelyn Chen said. “Knowing where to shovel…while using up my strength to pull the weeds out, were key to completing the task.”

Another group got even muddier, working in the loi, or taro patch. They stepped in the mud and water to prepare it for planting.

Chen said her adviser, Kaiminaauao Wallace, was extremely vocal, energetic and motivational.

“He encouraged me and my group to push ourselves to take out as many weeds as possible,” Chen said.

Papahana Kuaola offers opportunities to not only schools but also the community.

Every third Saturday of the month, the public is invited to restore the upper reaches of Heeia Stream with native plants. Activities include native plant propagation, planting, weeding and mulching.

There are also workdays on the fourth Saturday of every month. These are organized around the moon calendar and the land’s work needs.

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