Saturday, June 25, 2022 |
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WAILUA — While many might have been nursing a hangover from the New Year’s Eve celebration, about two dozen volunteers opened 2011 by clearing debris from the beaches of Morgan’s Ponds at Lydgate Park.
“We didn’t advertise it, but this is a great turnout,” said a thrilled John Lydgate on Saturday morning. “The harvest is great and the labor turnout is great. This is a great way to start the New Year.”
The debris accumulated following the heavy rains pelting the island earlier in the week, and combined with the tides at the mouth of the Wailua River, piled up on the beaches of the popular park, named after Lydgate’s grandfather.
Locals and tourists joined efforts to clean up the beach.
“He didn’t know he was going to do this until two days, ago,” said Esther Field of Olympia, Washington. “Aaron (her son) is doing this as part of his school’s community service requirement.”
Aaron Field said he attends a Nova school in Washington, and has to perform at least 10 hours of community service at three different sites to satisfy the school’s requirements.
“The school is really good,” Aaron said. “They usually work to set up places students can do to do community service, but we can go out and do our own as well.”
Esther, who visits Kaua‘i twice a year with her family, said she saw the sign while visiting the park earlier in the week, and thought this was a project her son could perform.
One of the volunteers noted the clean beach, finding remnants from only two firecrackers following the New Year’s Eve revelry which saw pyrotechnic remnants pepper the park’s roadway and parking areas.
“We saw some kids popping firecrackers in front of the place we’re staying,” Esther said. “It was low tide and Aaron went to bring them a trash bag to pick up the remnants, but they told him they’re waiting until tomorrow.”
Esther said she and Aaron, with the aid of a headlamp, picked up after the children.
Angelo Catiguy had his son Derek helping the group clean. Derek exchanged his bicycle for manual labor to get the beaches cleaned before people arrived to enjoy the holiday.
“This is one of the Philippine Island/Hawaiian Island projects,” Catiguy said. “Our president, Dario Sibolboro, believes in keeping the place clean for people to enjoy, so he adopted this project.”
The PIHI group is a bicycling enthusiast organization which formed recently to enjoy the island through bicycling, and recently rode with Thomas Noyes, Steven Yee, and a local bicycling group on a training ride around Lihu‘e.
Andre Mecl of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, arrived with his family to enjoy the beach, but after inquiring Lydgate about what was happening, his entire family joined the volunteers in the clean-up effort.
“We should be done early with this many volunteers,” said Noyes, whom Lydgate credits as the effort’s sparkplug. “Not only will we clean the main Morgan’s Pond, but we should be able to tackle the kiddie pond as well. This is a great day to do this and a perfect way to start the New Year.”
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