By James Gonser
Advertiser Leeward Bureau
WAIANAE In a final drive to complete phase two of the Waianae green gateway project, volunteers will work the next five Saturdays digging holes, planting trees and clearing brush along Farrington Highway fronting Lualualei Beach Park.
Project coordinator Rocky Rogers said when the gateway is complete, Waianae town will have an entry filled with the fragrance of plumeria.
Who: Nani O Waianae (696-1920).
What: Volunteers needed to help complete phase two of the Waianae green gateway project.
When: 8 a.m. to noon each Saturday in January and on Feb. 3.
Where: Meet at Lualualei Beach Park across from the city sewage treatment plant on Farrington Highway.
"Were getting there little by little," Rogers said. "Some people plant trees, some people clean beaches, some educate the kids. We can see the community moving in a positive direction."
Rogers said the Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board began planning the project two years ago, knowing that government money for a beautification project would be hard to find. Residents decided that if they really wanted a green gateway, they would have to do the work themselves.
"In urban planning, they say one of the cheapest things you can do to improve the mood of a community is plant trees and do landscaping," Rogers said.
Phase two covers the makai side of Farrington Highway from Mailiili Stream to Leihoku Street. Phase one, completed in July 1999, covered the same area on the mauka side of the highway.
Volunteers have worked for months shaping and removing kiawe bushes where drug uses were known to hide and car thieves often stripped cars. The area has been graded, some trees planted and the city has installed an irrigation system.
Volunteers are now being asked to dig holes for hundreds of plumeria, ti plants and native white hibiscus to complete the project.
Nani O Waianae executive director Katy Kok said timing is critical, because the group was given a $10,000 grant from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Kaulunani Urban Forestry program to purchase plants and equipment, but the project must be completed by February.
"The city spent millions doing the landscaping on those beautiful stretches in Nanakuli, which is great, but we are doing this whole thing for only $10,000," Kok said. "It is awesome the amount of brush and rubbish that had to be hauled out of there. People have dumped dirt, rock, rubble and roofing in that area for years. It will be a wonderful kudo for the community."
Dozens of sailors from the Lualualei Naval Reservation already have been volunteering and have decided to adopt and maintain the area once the gateway is completed.
On Feb. 3, the last work day for the project, the final trees will be planted during a dedication ceremony, and a hoolaulea is planned to thank all the volunteers.
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