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Officials tout Puna ‘Action Teams’

County officials are asking Puna residents to join “Action Teams” to help organize community projects to improve the area’s resilience to disasters.

At an online community meeting Thursday, Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz and County Recovery Officer Doug Le provided a summary of what Action Teams can do as part of the county’s Kilauea Recovery and Resilience Plan.

That plan, Le explained, was produced last year based on recovery data from the 2018 Kilauea eruption and identified a need for collaborative action among community members.

The Action Teams will focus on six specific resilience subjects — social, cultural, economic, built environment, natural environment and youth — and will receive guidance each quarter for future projects. The teams will be co-chaired by county workers and community members with the expertise to help projects succeed.

Some of those projects will include invasive species management, native forest restoration, establishing resilience hubs and more.

These projects will be set up during quarterly Revitalize Puna events in January, April, July and October.

“This action cycle is where teams will come together and learn by doing,” Kierkiewicz said. “You’ll receive information at Revitalize Puna and through the 90-day action cycle do a deeper dive into that knowledge you’ve obtained and apply it.”

Kiewkierwicz said the county recovery team has mapped out the content of the Action Team program for the next two years. Year one, she said, will be focused on “building capacity … and strengthening human and social capital,” while year two will focus on demonstrating social leadership.

Le said the Action Team program will help inform the county’s ongoing infrastructure recovery programs in lower Puna and provide further insight on where resources should be directed.

Kierkiewicz said Action Team volunteers can select their level of intended engagement — team members might only need to invest two or three hours a week, depending on how involved they want to be.

Those interested in joining an Action Team are encouraged to fill out an interest form at tinyurl.com/4wy2zpca by Aug. 20.

The next Revitalize Puna event will take place Oct. 12.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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