On Tuesday, December 8th, the PICCC staff took a day off from being in the office and traveled to He`eia in order to volunteer and learn more about the great work our local partners are doing.
First, the PICCC team visited Kāko’o ‘Ōiwi, a local non-profit working in He`eia to restore agricultural and ecological productivity in the wetlands. Our team got down and dirty (literally), planting ulu (or breadfruit) trees. After an exhausting but fulfilling morning, the Kāko’o ‘Ōiwi team there was kind enough to give the PICCC team a tour of the lands, showcasing the crops and providing us with an overview of their, cultural use, ecological restoration, sustainable agriculture, and supporting educational programs.
After the visit to Kāko’o ‘Ōiwi and a very satisfying lunch, the team moved on to visit Paepae o He`eia. We were given a tour of the He`eia fishpond and learned about the history of the fish pond, including a historic flood in 1965 that caused an 80-foot puka (or hole) in the wall of the fishpond. The PICCC team was lucky enough to visit the fishpond on a very historic week, as more than 1000 people are set to gather to finish the repairs to the wall and fully restore the fishpond to function as intended for traditional aquaculture.
The day provided the PICCC team with a great opportunity to give back to our community, learn more about our partners and the environment around us, and get out of the office for the day!