As the gentle wind blows through the leaves of the majestic trees, we have been doing our best to keep Mānoa “clean, green and beautiful.” Quarterly, we have continued our work to remove invasive plants from the heiau site at Kamānele Park, and we facilitated service learning projects for students. Discovering promising leaders amongst the next generation, we voted two Junior Directors onto our board, and mentored other high school seniors with their Capstone and Eagle Scout projects. One of those projects was to plant 200 new mock orange plants at the historic College Hill home of the UH President.
In addition to our efforts to beautify and educate, we devoted a considerable amount of time and effort to advocacy this year. We wrote and presented oral testimony on numerous City and State bills and resolutions affecting the environment. Meeting with DPP and City Council Members, we negotiated fervently for the new Land Use Ordinance to include a cap on impervious surfaces so builders of monster houses cannot concrete their whole properties. Maintaining a visible presence at the Mānoa Neighborhood Board’s monthly meetings, we were available to assist residents with issues that seemed daunting for the average citizen, ranging from saving the trees on the Noelani Elementary School campus to concerns about HECO removing hedges near power stations. Hearing the presentations from government agencies and businesses, we were able to submit timely comments on several Environmental Assessments. While engaged in our role as community advocates, we partnered with other nonprofit organizations, including HI Good Neighbor, Mālama Mānoa, Blue Zones Project 4M, and Protect Our Ala Wai Watersheds.
Lastly, our Mānoa Branch members enjoyed celebrating our efforts and successes with fun parties, such as our “Green Party” on Saint Patrick’s Day and a “Monster Mash” after Bill 79 passed. The community service work we do together makes a positive difference, yet the best part is the friendships we form as we fulfill our purpose with passion.
Greenleaf is the online newsletter and blog of The Outdoor Circle. Here you will find updates on the projects and accomplishments of our many branches throughout the state, as well as programs with statewide impact.