UHH Students Help Watershed Project was originally published at 12:05 on October 10th 2012 in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. It has since been removed from the website but below is the original article.
The Kohala Watershed Partnership is dedicated to helping rid of non-native species and helping those that are native strive. Every month volunteers go to the mountain to do a variety of tasks from planting trees to sterilizing those that shouldn’t be there.
Earlier this month, a group of the University of Hawaii at Hilo student volunteers went to the mountain with the Kohala Watershed staff and spent a few hours clearing up ginger plants that were suffocating other native species.
The work was not only rewarding but gave the students a chance to see part of Hawaii that not everyone gets to see.
The Kohala Watershed Partnership is always looking for more volunteers to help out in the mountains or in other ways. Visit http://kohalawatershed.org/ for more information on the organization and to learn how you can help.
“Kohala, known to most as an extinct volcano on the Big Island, is more than just one of the oldest volcanoes on this island. Kohala Mountain is now the home of certain species of plants and animals that cannot be found anywhere else in not just Hawaii, but the whole world,” said UHH exchange student Olena Kagui, one of the volunteers.
“It is also an important source of rainwater that supports the unique native species living on the mountain as well as providing water for human communities. There are certain species of plants and animals that are not native to the mountain that are threatening to damage the ecosystem and in doing so kill the rare species living there,” she said.