Community, military clean Loko Pa‘aiau fishpond

Story and photos by MC1 Corwin M. Colbert

Service members and families, Ali‘i Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club members and the local community united to improve the ancient Hawaiian fishpond, Loko Pa‘aiau, as part of National Public Lands Day on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Sept. 29.

Capt. Marc Delao, commanding officer of Naval Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii, greeted volunteers, which included students from Kamehameha Schools, representatives from Polynesian Voyaging Society and others. Kehaulani Lum, the Ali‘i Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club president, led the group in a traditional prayer, or “oli,” before the event. More than 100 volunteers signed up to move 300 gray lava pavers into the area to form a stepping trail along the coastline of the pond. This event also included removal of invasive plant species.

NAVFAC Hawaii was awarded grants from the National Environmental Education Foundation and the Department of Defense Legacy Resources Management Program for both Loko Pa‘aiau fishpond and Ahua Reef Wetland.

A future cleanup at Ahua Reef is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 19 from 8 to 11 a.m. and Saturday, Oct. 20 from 8 to 11 a.m. Activities include pulling invasive weeds and trash pickup. Volunteers age 12 and older are welcome.

The wetland is located on the Hickam side of JBPHH, near Hickam Harbor and Hawaii Air National Guard. There is a parking lot with plenty of stalls. Closed-toe shoes are required. Expect to get wet and muddy — Wellington boots, long sleeves and pants are recommended. Additional items to bring include sunblock, water, a hat and snacks. Navy Natural Resources will provide tools, gloves and water refills. RSVP to Noël Dunn by email at Ashley.n.dunn.ctr@navy.mil or by phone at 224-249-2180.

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Category: Life & Leisure