National Public Lands Day engages volunteers, aids SB Hawaiian Interpretive gardens

| October 1, 2015 | 0 Comments
The National Public Lands Day volunteer event, Saturday, included weed control in OANRP’s native Hawaiian interpretive garden, which represents various native ecosystems throughout Oahu.

The National Public Lands Day volunteer event, Saturday, included weed control in OANRP’s native Hawaiian interpretive garden, which represents various native ecosystems throughout Oahu.

Story and photos by
Celeste Hanley
Oahu Army Natural  Resources Program
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Volunteers and staff of the Oahu Army Natural Resources Program (OANRP) celebrated National Public Lands Day (NPLD), Saturday, through weeding and planting efforts in the native Hawaiian interpretive garden, here.

DOD funded 30 projects on 30 military installations across 16 states with the NPLD DOD Legacy Award in 2015.

The native Hawaiian interpretive garden at Schofield was one of the awardees, with a project focus of improving the appearance and educational capacity of the garden.

Volunteers planted endangered Hawaiian plantings, including the ‘Ohai plants to improve the diversity of the garden.

Volunteers planted endangered Hawaiian plantings, including the ‘Ohai plants to improve the diversity of the garden.

Species protection
OANRP manages endangered species in some of the most remote areas on the island of Oahu.

Established in 2008, the native Hawaiian interpretive garden at the OANRP base yard made it possible for community members to experience some of the rarest ecosystems on Oahu – all within Schofield Barracks.

Rare habitats, from coastal dunes and shrub lands to high montane cliffs, are depicted as various “islands” within the garden.

Thanks to the 100-plus hours volunteers and staff spent weeding and planting on Saturday, the habitats are looking much closer to the natural areas they represent.

“We worked hard to remove invasive weeds that were overtaking the various islands within the garden, much like we have to do in order to protect endangered species in the wild,” said Kim Welch, environmental outreach specialist with the program.

“It felt really nice to see the garden come alive,” said volunteer Roy Kikuta. “It was definitely worth the TLC (tender loving care) we put in!”
Volunteers also planted native plants, including endangered species, such as ‘ohai (Sesbania tomentosa) to improve diversity within the garden.

“‘Ohai are likely pollinated by the endangered Hawaiian yellow-faced bee (Hylaeus sp.),” said Welch. “Other pollinators will surely enjoy these plants and additional new species in the garden.”

The effort supports the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.

Connect Online
More information on National Public Lands Day efforts throughout the nation can be found online at www.publiclandday.org.

Volunteer Days
Another volunteer day will be scheduled in November to finish up the remainder of the improvement project, which will include the assembly of a shelter, installation of interpretive signage, improvement of the garden compost pile and more weed control.
The native Hawaiian interpretive garden is located at the Oahu Army Natural Resources Program base yard on Schofield Barracks. To schedule a visit, contact outreach@oanrp.com.

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Category: Community, Sustainability

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