For a couple of months, seventh and eighth graders from Hawaii Preparatory Academy have been planning with the Waimea Trails and Greenways committee to do a work day project in honor of Earth Day on April 19. The scheduled plan was for the students to clear a portion of the stream embankment.
Two days before the work day, the Kamakani O Waimea, or the Winds of Waimea, rushed down the puu, or hills, and pushed over a huge tree that completely blocked the Ke Ala Kahawai O Waimea, which translates to The Stream Trail Of Waimea. Users of the trail were forced to inconveniently walk around the fallen tree, into the brush, then back onto the trail.
Scheduled plans were changed to accommodate the fallen tree for the 31 HPA students and three faculty members. Girls from the HPA work group were assigned to clear the tree from the trail. Eighteen girls, working like they enjoyed it, cleared away the tree in an hour. The hard part was waiting for the count of 17, instead of three, to signal their coordinated effort in lifting and moving the tree trunk off the trail onto the side where it now serves as a sitting bench.
While the girl effort was going on, the HPA boys utilized wheelbarrows and covered the barren spots on the trail with wood chips. It was a great way to celebrate Earth Day, and a great day for the trail.
The trail committee’s response, “Wow, these kids got so much done in so little time.”
HPA faculty took the students on a long hike to a waterfall after their work on the trail.