Tree Tunnel cleanup planned for Saturday

Volunteers are being sought for the yearly cleanup of Maluhia Road in Koloa on Saturday, July 12.

The cutting of grass, trimming of brush and removal of debris are intended to beautify the area and are anticipated to enhance the Koloa Plantation Days Celebration activities, scheduled to be held a week after the cleanup.

The Koloa Plantation Day events, held for more than 20 years, pay tribute to the plantation lifestyle that once existed in the Koloa and Poipu area. The McBryde Sugar Company once operated in Koloa, closing in the 1990s.

The Maluhia Road cleanup, in its seventh year, is scheduled to take place from 8 a.m. and noon on July 12.

Most of the south Kauai road, also known as the “Tree Tunnel” road, will be closed to traffic for the safety of the volunteers.

Kauai police officers will close off the intersections of Maluhia Road and Kaumuali’i Highway and the Koloa Bypass Road and Maluhia Road.

While the cleanup work is going on, police officers will reroute traffic to Omao Road, for traffic to and from Lihue, according to Eddie Sarita, manager of the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall and a spokesman for the cleanup.

The cleanup will cover an area that is a little more than a mile, Sarita said.

The Hyatt Regency Kauai hotel, Sheraton Kauai hotel and Embassy Suites – major resort operations in south Kauai will spearhead the cleanup, Sarita said.

The Hyatt Regency representatives have taken the lead on the cleanup for the last seven years, and began working with the Sheraton and Embassy suite folks the past two years, according to Joe Taiteno, director of the human resources division at the Hyatt Regency.

Refreshments will be served during the cleanup, and lunch will be served by hotel representatives.

“We welcome volunteers from all over the island,” Sarita said. “You don’t necessarily have to be from Koloa and Poipu. This (cleanup) will benefit the entire island.”

The yearly cleanups have traditionally attracted 70 persons each year, and proponents of this year’s cleanup anticipate the same number, if not more, to come out and help. “We can always use more, so please come,” Sarita said.

Sarita recommended volunteers dress appropriately, and bring gloves, grass cutters, picks, shovels and rakes to expedite the work.

About two tons of debris have been picked up in yearly cleanups, Sarita said. The debris that is collected July 12 will be bagged, put in a central location and will be picked up by county workers on July 14 for disposal, Sarita said. For more information on the cleanup, contact Taiteno, the director of human resources division at the Hyatt Regency at 240-0365.

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