Project Malama Honokowai

April 11, 2009 at 10:55 pm 2 comments

 Above Kaanapali, above the pineapple, sugarcane and coffee fields is a door into ancient Hawai’ian history—Honokawai Valley. In ancient times, high in the valley on the sides of Honokowai stream was a community of six hundred families. Homes and taro patches, auwai, heiaus and burial sites rested on rock wall terraces. The stream fed the people, the taro and many other species of plants that were used for food, medicine, clothing, building, transportation, tools, fishing nets, weapons and religion. The Hawai’ian Ahupua’a self-sustaining land management system links the mountain with the ocean, so valley farmers traded the plants and products that they made with fishermen who lived by the sea in the Kaanapali area. Then in the 1800’s, all the water of the stream was diverted out of the valley into sugarcane fields. The valley community was abandoned and invasive plants grew over the homes, terraces and paths for over a hundred years. A massive influx of invasive plant and animal species pushed native flora, to which Hawai’ian culture is intimately connected, near to extinction.

In 2000, Maui Cultural Lands began Project Malama Honokowai to restore the cultural sites and reforest the Honokowai Valley and Kaanapali area with native and endemic hawaiian plant species. Since then volunteers have cleared many acres of the three-mile archeological site and propagated and planted hundreds of native plants. Taro and ‘Uala (sweet potato) and Hawai’ian mint are again growing in the valley. The Hawaii State Archaeological Society has determined that Honokowai sites were among the best projects currently in the state. The project is also supported by businesses, organizations and the people of Maui. Steady progress is being made at the work site.

Every Saturday, the Honokowai Archaeological Cleanup Project welcomes volunteers to ride up into Honokowai Valley and help restore the site, and help preserve many endagered species of native Hawai’ian plants. Activities include cutting down overgrowth, pulling weeds, moving rocks, watering taro, ‘uala and the many species of the medicinal and ornamental plants being saved from extinction.

The community is encouraged to participate in this special place. Hohokowai Valley provides a beautiful and ideal setting for learning about traditional Hawaii’an culture while helping to preserve native species. Families, children and elders are always welcome. Bring lunch, water, gloves, hand tools, hats and repellent. Volunteers meet every Saturday at 9am at the “Sugar Cane Train” parking lot off Honoapiilani Hwy, turn mauka at Pu’ukoli’i St. (north of Ka’anapali).

Contact Maui Cultural Lands, Inc. 1977 Kaohu Street, Suite A, Wailuku, HI 96793. (808) 281-3573, mauiculturallands@hawaii.rr.com
or Ed Lindsey, 1087-A Pookela Road, Makawao, HI 96768, (808) 572-8085.

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Entry filed under: Events, Gardening & Agriculture, Political Action, Recycling & Conservation. Tags: .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. SMS Newsletter, April 2009 « South Maui Sustainability  |  February 10, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    […] Malama Aina. March SMS community meeting RECENT POSTINGS at SouthMauiSustainability.org • Project Malama Honokowai • Space-based solar power agreement • Hawaii to get $15M stimulus for energy efficiency […]

    Reply
  • 2. ornamentalplant  |  February 18, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Thanks for the valueble article. Glad to have found your this blog. Waiting for the next postings.

    Reply

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