‘Hard-core’ Lydgate cleanup Saturday

WAILUA — Cleanup work on the accumulated greenwaste, a term used by Thomas Noyes of the Friends of Kamalani Playground and Lydgate Park, began in earnest Tuesday, as a small crane from Brown’s Trucking Inc. was offloaded from a low-boy trailer and driven to the kiddie pool.

As a follow-up to the cleanup efforts taking place, Noyes announced that a “hard-core” community cleanup will take place Saturday to hasten the recovery of the popular park and, hopefully, return it to a state where people can enjoy it again.

Noyes explained that a “hard-core” cleanup means there will be no food or snacks served, so volunteers need to bring their own.

The emphasis is on work, and Noyes said that they will have something for people to do when they show up.

Start time for the Saturday effort is 8 a.m., with work continuing until “whenever,” Noyes said.

He suggests that volunteers come armed for the task, and bring tools, wheelbarrows, rakes, and other equipment.

The group members will be meeting at the comfort station across from the park’s main pavilion.

Noyes said that he checked with Russell Sugano of Brown’s Trucking Inc. on Tuesday, and was told that the scheduled cleanup should be done by Friday, which opens the door for the volunteers.

What is different from previous cleanups, Noyes said, is that, because the area back of the Wailua motocross track is flooded, the greenwaste will have to be trucked to Kauai Nursery & Landscaping in Puhi.

Volunteers will come in following the heavy equipment, and concentrate on raking up the leftover debris as well as other park-maintenance tasks that need to be addressed.

The popular beach park has been pelted by several storms over the past several weeks, and both tidal pools are choked with accumulated wood and other debris that washed down from the neighboring Wailua River.

The runoff spills the debris into the ocean, with the tides pushing the ‘opala over the rock breakwaters and into the pools.

Cleanup efforts were delayed due to the numerous storms that having been hitting the island back-to-back.

The sun came out on Monday, and perhaps it was the warm rays that triggered cleanup efforts that were welcomed as visitors to the park smiled as they saw the tiny crane whack a hole in the debris in the congested kiddie pond.

But, with the opening of the hole came the stench of water that has been stagnant for several weeks, and visitors kept their distance as one of the park caretakers noted out loud, “You can smell the lepto!” Noyes suggested that, during this period, park-goers should exercise caution, as the shoreline south of the pools is also littered with accumulated debris which, at this time, is not part of the cleanup.

He pointed out that, at the Kamalani Kai Bridge, water accumulates at the base, and park caretakers have been good at shutting off the openings to the slides because the exits land people in the mud and water at the base.

Additionally, he said there have been instances when trucks and other utility vehicles have become stuck and damaged due to the runoff, and he recommended that there be no vehicle access until the place dries out and the situation stabilizes.

Noyes added that an Earth Day 2006 event is also planned for April 22, when members of the community are invited to help apply a coat of non-toxic wood sealer to Kamalani Playground.

Volunteer registration for this event starts at 7:30 a.m., with lunch being served at noon.

For more information on either this Saturday’s cleanup or the upcoming Earth Day 2006 event at Lydgate Park, people may call 245-5959.

• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com.

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