Waianae Land Trust Applies for Clean Water & Natural Lands Grant

NOTE: the site visit description is for a different group seeking City funds, not the Waianae Land Trust.

Kudos to Shelly Freitas and Louella Kohler of the Waianae Land Trust, who recently applied for a grant from the City’s Clean Water & Natural Lands fund to create educational programs based on the ahupua`a model on the Wai`anae Coast. Good luck on achieving this excellent goal! For information about this program, visit: http://www.honolulu.gov/council/cbc/cwnl.htm. Here is some information from the City regarding the project:

Site Visits of
The Clean Water and Natural Lands Commission
October 26, 2009
Commission Members: Kevin Chang, Dr. Hans Krock, Dr. Benton Kealii Pang
Others: Teri Wright (OHA intern for Kevin Chang)

12:00 pm – Siobahn Corp. Wai‘anae Valley parcel

Commissioners met with Leah Caldwell, applicant and Nancy Yamachi, real estate
agent for the property owner. The property is approximately 100 yards from the
Wai‘anae convenience center, a drop off area for refuse and recycling for the residents and borders the old Mountain View Dairy property.

The property is also bordered by a stream that has been channelized by the City and County since the 1950’s. Dr. Krock believes that the stream would have flooded the property prior to the earthen berm and cement channelization. Ms. Caldwell (no relation to Kirk Caldwell) took us to the central 2 portion of the parcel which, according to Dr. Pang, has all the indications of being a wetland (wet soils, and California grass).

A majority of the vegetation is kiawe trees, koa haole shrubs, and buffle grass. There was no indication of native plant species in the area as indicated in the proposal, and Ms. Caldwell apologized for the misidentifications of those plants. The vegetation is not any different from 90% of the vegetation in Wai‘anae Valley. Four endangered Hawaiian stilts were observed in the channelized stream adjacent to the property.

The parcel is next to an agricultural farm and bordered by three elephone/electrical poles.

Ms. Caldwell has plans to plant Neem, a medicinal tree from India, in the area and keep the non-native forest intact. She plans to get assistance from the University of Hawai‘i for growing Neem (eg., College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources) and community outreach (eg., Center for Hawaiian Studies). Ms. Caldwell is a Physics student at the University of Hawai‘i and sees this area as vitally important to the education of Neem for Hawai‘i. She has not yet made contact with community members in the Wai‘anae community, but Dr. Pang offered to put her in contact with Dr. Bruce Koebele of Ka‘ala Farms, Inc. who is currently restoring a dry forest in the back of Wai‘anae Valley.

She planned to do more outreach if she received financial support for the project and is currently running the project by herself.

At the upcoming public meeting, Ms. Caldwell was told to provide more information to
the commission on any historic properties or burials on the property- she indicated a
possible burial on the property, information on environmental contaminants on the
property, and community support from residents in Wai‘anae.

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