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A happy, healthy half mile in Lihu‘e

LIHU‘E — The Healthy Half Mile in Lihu‘e got a shot in the arm on Saturday when parents and keiki from the Lihu‘e Court Townhouse were joined by Get Fit Kaua‘i and members of the Kapa‘a High School Interact Club in decorating the multi-use path connecting Lihu‘e Court and other close by apartment buildings with Rice Street.

“This is supposed to put a smile on your face,” said Kapa‘a High School Interact Club member Alyssiya Miyashiro-Catbagan. “It’s supposed to motivate you to get out of bed and do something.”

Bev Brody of Get Fit Kaua‘i, the recipient of a Lopaka Bukoski ‘ohia blossom done in sidewalk chalk, said everyone worked to paint items like the hopscotch games, and positive messages, such as “You can do it” and “One step at a time” as part of the Kalena Park Healthy Half Mile.

The path is an effective separator between the Lihu‘e Court living areas and an area set aside for “community gardens” where Lihu‘e Court residents can garden food to harvest and feed their families.

A volunteer working with urban farmer Sylvia Lessa, who gardens along the sidewalk on Rice Street, had a task of penciling out 16 proposed plots for families in Lihu‘e Court to apply for.

The goal was to ensure there was a spigot for each plot. The proposed garden plots that residents in Lihu‘e Court need to apply for through Ortiz will butt to Lessa’s sidewalk-fronting plot that extends along the Rice Street sidewalk to the parking lot of Kaua‘i Diner.

Tanya Ortiz, the Lihu‘e Court property manager who lives on site, said the gardens are something that precedes her, the first one on the path currently being described as a “fruit forest” after Malama Kaua‘i visited the site a few years ago and provided fruit trees to go into that plot.

Currently, the plot hosts various citrus, avocado, dragon fruit, a unique Brazilian cherry, and papaya Ortiz put in because it is so easy to grow in the area.

In addition to providing Lihu‘e Court residents with access to Rice Street and the bus stop, the path has also been used by other neighboring residents and, on occasion, by participants in the monthly Bikes on Ride bicyclists.

“This is all part of the Healthy Half Mile,” Brody said. “We’re proud of it.”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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