Special to Hawaii 24/7
More than 100 volunteers of nearly every age gathered Saturday at the Hawaii Wildlife Center in Kapaau for a community volunteer day and the inaugural planting of native Hawaiian landscaping.
Kohala Middle School students, teachers and the principal were joined by individuals representing Hawaii Preparatory Academy, home schooled children and parents, a police officer, other community members at large, Aikane Nursery, Chambers Landscaping, and individuals from the Hawaii Wildlife Center board of directors.
Landscape Architect Jason Umemoto of Umemoto Cassandro Design Corporation generously donated time and expertise to oversee volunteers’ efforts as they planted Loulu Lelo, Hoawa, AeAe, UkiUki, Palapalai fern, Naio Papa, Pohinahina, Akia and many native plants.
“Plantings now beautify the Center and provide a more pleasing place to learn and enjoy,” said Linda Elliott, Hawaii Wildlife Center president and director. “Students and the community have been involved in the development of the HWC from ground up and this is just one more step that brings us closer to completion.”
The Hawaii Wildlife Center will offer opportunities for collaboration with the Kohala School Complex for hands on learning programs in math, science and conservation both during and after school.
The volunteer day included tours of the facility and the opportunity to meet the non-profit organization’s board of directors. Volunteers received posters, gift cards, stickers and more donated by the Conservation Council for Hawaii.
The mission of the Hawaii Wildlife Center is to protect, conserve and aid in the recovery of Hawaii’s native wildlife through hands-on treatment, training, research, science education and cultural programs.
This will be accomplished by the construction, staffing and operation of the first state-of-the-art exclusively native wildlife response facility in the Pacific islands.
The HWC will provide for the best achievable medical and husbandry care for sick, injured, contaminated and orphaned native wildlife, including those affected by natural and man-made disasters and by returning those successfully treated animals back to the wild.
The HWC will achieve its objectives through the integrated operation of three related components: the wildlife treatment facility, the interpretive lanai and the education pavilion.
The 4,500 sq ft building includes rooms for wildlife intake, holding, washing, drying, food preparation, lab work, medical treatment and isolation. The 2.2 acres of land made available for this project will provide sufficient space for outdoor Recovery Yard.
Public visitation will be encouraged to enhance awareness of conservation issues and challenges. The Education pavilion will be used for training, public lectures and related projects.
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