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Forest fundraiser

Start off the new year supporting healthy forests at the Kekaha Harbor House with dinner, and westside hospitality at the fourth annual Ho’omalu.

Sponsored by the Kauai Resource Conservation Program, it features live entertainment by Kauai band ‘Oiwi and pupus and refreshments in the sunset.

It’s set for Sunday, Jan. 19, from 5 to 9 p.m. It supports KRCP, which removes invasive plants from the Kokee forests with a team of three full-time staff members and an ever-rotating roster of volunteers and interns.

About 32,000 interns have been through the program since it was founded in 1998. Together, they’ve put in more than 173,000 hours removing weeds by hand in the 12,000-acre Koke‘e forest.

Over the last 21 years KRCP has removed over 13,000,000 invasive plants from Kauai’s watershed, said Mapuana O’Sullivan, head of KRCP.

“(We bring) in hundreds of volunteers and interns every year to help with the difficult task of manually removing invasive plants from some of Kauai’s most pristine forests,” O’Sullivan said. “Working one acre at a time to protect Kauai’s fragile unique ecosystems and watershed from the invasion on non-native invasive plants.”

Alongside volunteers, KRCP leverages funding to help with projects, which helps fill in the spaces left uncovered by federal funding. According to KRCP, Hawaii has 33% of all endangered species in the U.S. but receives only 5% of federal funding dedicated to endangered species protection.

By removing invasive plants from Kauai’s fragile ecosystem, KRCP and their volunteers and interns are creating space for native plants to rebound. That works in concert with other organizations that replant native plants, together making Kauai forests healthier, O’Sullivan said.

Proceeds from the Ho’omaluo fundraiser will go straight to KRCP volunteer and intern programs to help further their part of that work.

Tickets are $30 for presale and $35 at the door. Children 10 and under, admission is free. Tickets are available at
Source: The Garden Island

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