9th MSC joins with city to celebrate ‘Malama Aina’

| April 10, 2015 | 1 Comment
Soldiers, civilians and family members from the 9th MSC pose and volunteer their time and efforts to help clean up the Kapakahi Stream and Pearl Harbor Bike Path to celebrate Earth Month. (Photos by 9th  Mission Support Command)

Soldiers, civilians and family members from the 9th MSC pose and volunteer their time and efforts to help clean up the Kapakahi Stream and Pearl Harbor Bike Path to celebrate Earth Month. (Photos by 9th
Mission Support Command)

Capt. MaryWhitney Whittaker
9th Mission Support Command Public Affairs
WAIPAHU — Like the flow of the Kapakahi stream, the never ending flow of support continued as the 9th Mission Support Command and the City and County of Honolulu launched into another great Earth Month with the “Mauka to Makai” Pearl Harbor bike path and Kapakahi Stream cleanup near Waipahu Depot Road, April 4.

Volunteers from the 9th MSC pull large debris, like this abandoned shopping cart from the path, and use it to help carry the load of litter picked up along the path.

Volunteers from the 9th MSC pull large debris, like this abandoned shopping cart from the path, and use it to help carry the load of litter picked up along the path.

The sunny Saturday helped generate the largest turnout of volunteers in the event’s history as, together, they removed trash and various discarded items along the Kapakahi Stream and surrounding areas.

Soldiers, civilians and family members from the 9th Mission Support Command comprised a huge group of the volunteers that showed up to support the event. There were also volunteers from the Honolulu International Christian Church and the Waipahu Community Coalition.

“I am so glad to see such a wonderful turnout this year, and what really amazes me is the individuals who hear about this event and come to volunteer and help,” explained Renee Wallace-Silberstein, with the City and County Storm Water Quality Branch.

City initiative
Organized by the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Environmental Services, this event was designed to promote community partnerships and awareness, as well as provide safe and clean public areas.

“These events are great because we have the opportunity to encourage the public to come out and improve their communities, so they are able to use these public venues,” explained Guy Humphreys, a police officer with the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).

Humphreys is also a citizen-Soldier with 3302nd Mobilization Support Battalion, 3rd Mobilization Support Group, under the 9th MSC.

“The collaboration is more cohesive every year,” explained Hercules Huihui, a local resident and leading member of the community.

As an active member of the Waipahu Community Association, Waipahu Community

This debris is just a small portion of what was picked up by volunteers along the bike path on Saturday.

This debris is just a small portion of what was picked up by volunteers along the bike path on Saturday.

Coalition and Waipahu Weed and Seed, Huihui plays a major part in these clean up events.

“(I hope the event this year) gains more involvement and interest from residents,” Huihui said. “I want to show them what this is, so they have more awareness. I want to try and get everyone on the same ‘Malama Aina,’ meaning to deeply care for the land.”

Continuing 9th MSC support
This is the 8th year that the Army Reserve has volunteered to participate, in order to help improve our community.

Due to its unwavering support these past eight years, the USAR Theater Support Group, 9th MSC, earned the 2015 City and County Good Neighbor Award, earlier this year.

“We always can count on military support because they always bring a lot of reinforcements and participate in the many different area cleanups we do throughout the year, and we are appreciate it,” Wallace-Silberstein said.

Mary Beth Racette, with the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division, under USAR TSG, has coordinated this event with the City and County of Honolulu for the last eight years, and she has seen quite a bit of improvement on support of this event, this year.

“It’s great to see more support from our community and the (9th MSC) command, said Racette. “By showing their support, it encourages more from participants, and this is the biggest turnout I have seen so far.”

Christina Vicari, also with the USAR TSG’s DPW Environmental Division, agreed.
“This year, we have way more people, and I think it’s great that our leadership makes an effort to come out and help,” Vicari said.

“This event has developed the community over the past 12 years as more members volunteer to rebuild and improve the local habitat, as well as recreational resources, such as the Pearl Harbor Bike Path and Pupuole mini-park,” Wallace-Silberstein added. “It has become an example of the power of volunteerism, changing the tide from negative to positive community use.”

Upcoming
This event is just one of many held throughout the year, so there is plenty of opportunity to volunteer and continue to keep this community flowing.

Earth Month concludes with the 2015 Earth Day Ohana Fest, put on by the 9th MSC and USAR TSG at Fort Shafter Flats Parade Field, on April 25.

This no-cost event is open to all members of the 9th MSC and their families.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Community, Community Relations, Sustainability

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Marcial M. Tumacder says:

    Great article. Thanks for covering the great work of the 9th Mission Support Command Ohana. Pride of the Pacific.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *