A record number of more than 40 Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce members, family and friends took part in conservation efforts on Mauna Kea on a recent Saturday under the guidance of the Office of Mauna Kea Management.
Volunteers planted 100 of the rare native Mauna Kea silverswords, removed over 30 large trash bags of fireweed, mullen and other invasive weeds, and laid rocks along the established trail in the silversword enclosure. After this unique opportunity to handle and plant the silverswords, volunteers were treated to a viewing of two mature plants in full bloom.
The silversword, or kahinahina, enclosure is situated adjacent to the Mauna Kea Visitors Information Station at Hale Pohaku at the 9,500-foot level. The enclosure may be accessed through an unlocked gate at the east end of the visitors information station parking lot. Visitors are asked to stay on the marked trail to avoid disturbing or stepping on the newly planted and established silverswords.
Guest presenter Tom Chun of Kahu Ku Mauna, the Mauna Kea Management Board’s Native Hawaiian advisory council, spoke to the group on the cultural perspectives of astronomy and Mauna Kea. Chun, Fritz Klasner and Jessica Kirkpatrick of OMKM, and Jay Hatayama of the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, worked with the Chamber to make the day possible.
The mission of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce is to assist businesses and promote Hawaii Island. The Chamber provides leadership via services and advocacy for the business community while promoting the economic well-being of the community. For more information about the Chamber, or to become a member, visit www.hicc.biz or contact Miles Yoshioka at the Chamber office at 935-7178 or firstname.lastname@example.org.