Windermere Valley Isle Community Work Day Ohana
Every year, Windermere Valley Isle Properties closes it's offices to make a positive difference in our community. I hang my hat with Windermere for their commitment and action to give back to Maui.
On June 20th, with our working clothes and lots of sunscreen, we headed out to one of my favorite places on Maui , the Waihe'e Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge. Owned and protected by the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, this 277 acre refuge is one of the most beautiful places on Maui.
This coastal wetlands, dunes, marine shoreline, reef systems and bird habitat is a cultural , archaeological and recreation preserve.
The volunteer programs and staff continue active restoration programs enhancing the native habitat.
Yesterday, we worked to eradicate two invasive species in the sensitive area adjoining the wetlands. We were told that all the sharp invasive poppy we pulled would be back in a month! However, in the last three years, the continued assault on these weeds is working.
As the ecosystem improves, endangered species are again flourishing at the Refuge.
The wetlands are now mostly cleared. The native plants are thriving, attracting many native Hawaiian bird species, including ae‘o (stilt), alae ke‘oke‘o (coot), koloa (duck). Even the beloved nene (goose) are returning.
The beautiful Waihe‘e shoreline is a safe haven for the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Green sea turtles make their nests along this pristine shore.
A few years ago I brought my Grandchildren out to the dunes so they could experience the art of volunteering and learn about our precious dunes. We harvested Naupaka seeds and planted native shrubs. Yesterday, I enjoyed seeing those same plants thriving in their native habitat.
When my guests, at Hale Ho'okipa, are interested in volunteering on their vacation, I often send them to this refuge as they have daily volunteer efforts and also educational walks. Check out www.volunteer-on-vacation-hawaii.com for other opportunities if this is not your cup of tea. One needs closed toe shoes to spend the day here.
Restoring and protecting our environment helps me to restore my committment in doing the good work for our planet. As I've said before,
" Doing Good Feels Good."