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East // East Oahu News
Nicole Kato

Hui, City Partner On Tree Plan

Livable Hawaii Kai Hui is working with the city Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) on a beautification project that will remove trees, such as royal poincianas and shower trees, that have outgrown their space in Mariner’s Cove and along Lunalilo Home Road, and replace them with new species.

“It’s more about providing more trees,” Elizabeth Reilly, president of the nonprofit hui said recently. “By the time we’re done, there will be more trees than when we started. We’re providing trees that are going to do better in these locations.” The hui helps get the word out on the project and provides a venue for the city to connect with residents.

The project idea had some people concerned, but the city was forthcoming in its effort to communicate with residents, and Livable Hawaii Kai Hui helped get the two groups to meet.

According to Stan Oka, DPR’s Division of Urban Forestry administrator, the existing trees have decayed and outgrown their space, resulting in lifted sidewalks and roads. New ones more suited to the area’s dry, windy weather also will reduce the amount of runoff into Maunalua Bay.

It could be two years before the planting project is finished, however, since the city currently is working on Lunalilo Home Road. The next step is to remove the trees, and then Urban Forestry will plant the new ones.

At its summer meeting, Reilly said everyone was open to the project and liked it. “People stayed after to chit chat, and very few expressed disinterest,” she noted. “The overall tone was good, and there was good information exchanged.”

Talking points focused on the Lunalilo Home Road portion of the project, but Mariner’s Cove residents also asked questions and viewed the maps. Outdoor Circle members also attended and voiced support.

Beautification in this area has sparked an interest among those from other East Oahu neighborhoods as well, Reilly added. “We did have a Niu Valley resident attend and ask how they could have a program like that. The city rep said, ‘Here’s my card, call me and let’s start talking. Let’s see what we can do about adding more trees.’”

Livable Hawaii Kai Hui was founded in 2004 “to uphold the integrity of the East Honolulu Sustainable Communities Plan.”

For tree project updates, visit hawaiikaihui.org or call 971-7151.

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