Learning Journey: Loko Ea Fishpond and Waimea Valley/August 29
- Posted on 1 Sep 2013
- In Stories of Place
North Shore, O‘ahu —
By Tricia Dang and Jenna Ishii. Hosted by the beautiful community of the North Shore on Oahu – today’s land-based exploration reminded me that strategic community driven action ensures the ability to create conservation opportunities and implement sustainable practices for today and the future. Walking a few minutes from our temporary home on Waialua Bay is Loko Ea fishpond. Loko Ea is an ancient Hawaiian Fishpond that is being restored for cultural and environmental education. The restored pond is 6 acres wide; however, long-time residents are quick to remind us that the pond stretches much further north. Malama Loko Ea gladly host’s community service opportunities!
Blake McElheny, community leader and a member of the voyaging family, talked about the North Shore community land trust (http://northshoreland.org/) and presented the design plans for Haleiwa Beach Park Improvements, an area next to Loko Ea fishpond. The plan is to connect spaces and improve facilities with new features such as a canoe hale (shelter for local groups to safely store canoes). We like this one! For more information about Loko Ea Fishpond, visit “Mālama Loko Ea” on Facebook.
Later in the day, we were invited to visit Waimea Valley. Managed by Hiipaka LLC, Waimea Valley is the least developed of all the ahupuaa (land divisions – mountain to the sea) on the island of O‘ahu. Most familiar is Waimea Bay; the waters from Kamananui Stream in Waimea Valley flow into the Bay. Rich in Hawaiian history and traditios, Waimea Valley has numerous ancient Hawaiian sites.
The valley also has an extensive botanical garden – we were mindful of the red signs signifying rare plants such as the Loulu Pritchardia Viscosa, and had a great time checking out plants from regions we will be visiting during the Worldwide Voyage such as the Toromiro from Rapa Nui. Later, we put in some time to help with landscape work at the Kauhale (traditional ancient Hawaiian living complex) and discussed future opportunities to support Waimea Valley’s projects.
We ended the day by hiking into the back of the valley and swimming in the waterfall. That evening, Kamaki Worthington and our crew members gave a public presentation to the community about the the history of Hōkūle‘a and the upcoming Worldwide Voyage. We drove back to Haleiwa that night with a million stars in the sky, and we talked about how this community truly exemplifies the values of mālama honua (to care for the Earth).
For more information about Waimea Valley, visit http://www.waimeavalley.net/.