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Hanalei Rotarians stay very busy

HANALEI — Their meetings are virtual for now, yet the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay has been active in the North Shore community, with multiple projects ongoing.

Members have been busy distributing food and supplies to those in need throughout this last year, and kicked it into high gear after the March Hanalei landslide. Members were seen shuttling folks to and from the boats by van, as well as supplying fuel, water and food, until the road opened up.

One project that is reaching its next milestone is the one-acre Rotary Park, located within the 75-acre campus of the Kilauea Community Agricultural Center. KCAC is a nonprofit dedicated to meeting economic, social and food security challenges faced by the Kilauea community.

In October 2017, the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay raised over $35,000 to construct a gazebo in Rotary Park. The gazebo was finished and dedicated the following February.

The gazebo is in close proximity to the community garden plots and the community farm, and among other things, the gazebo provides a place for farmers to get out of the weather and relax.

The gazebo is located in a grove of fruit trees that were contributed by the Rotary Club of Kyoto Rakuhoku, a sister club of the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay. The fruit trees are planted around the perimeter berm and help to provide privacy and windbreak for the planned farm. Rotarians from the club helped to plant them. Three years later, the park continues to be built out, and new fencing was recently installed.

One passionate club member, the late Richard Tiede, a master gardener and arborist, taught members about maintaining and trimming the trees, and David Fairbanks helped to develop a program that allows individuals or groups to adopt and plant a tree in dedication to a group or individual that they wish to recognize. The $250 sponsorship fee pays for a sign that identifies the species of tree, and for ongoing maintenance.

The Rotarians, led by longtime Kaua‘i builder and North Shore resident Terry Wells, are also currently completing hand-crafted furniture (a large group table and chairs) for the gazebo, which will add to its functionality.

“Our vision is to create a welcoming space for residents and tourists alike to relax among the trees, learn about the incredible diversity of fruit trees, indigenous and imported, or enjoy some food under the gazebo,” said Fairbanks, a club member from Princeville who spends time weekly grooming and weeding the park.

“Several years ago, the club put out a survey to the community, and there was huge support for the Kilauea Community Agricultural Center which, after six years of hard work dedication, has certainly come a long way, ” said Ben Gillikin, Community Service chair for the club.

“We continue to reach out to see how we can best serve the community’s needs. Right now, we are also focusing on creating programs to help the community and businesses in Hanalei, who, for obvious reasons, have been hurting.” If you have any suggestions, contact hanaleirotary@gmail.com.

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Ron Margolis is a Realtor and secretary of the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay.
Source: The Garden Island

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