Students finish job at Mana wetlands

MANA — Waimea High School construction academy students Ryan Lomongo, Brayden Munar, Kalen Soares and Mark Isoshima came back Wednesday to finish the job at the Mana Wetlands Restoration Project.

“The only thing remaining to be done is installing the plaque which gives credit to these students for constructing the kiosks,” said Jamie Harris, a technician with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife. 

The students, through a Hawaii Tourism Authority grant, created three kiosks, one outlining the project, one depicting the bird life in the wetlands, and a third explaining the plants in the area.

Glenn Taba, an instructor with the Kauai Community College carpentry program, said the project involved coordinating the efforts between construction academy students at Kapaa and Waimea high schools.

“Basically, Kapaa students built the kiosks at school while Waimea students came out to do the concrete work,” Taba said. “The hardest part was coordinating the movement of the completed kiosks and the completion of the slabs.”

Lomongo said it was hot working in the dry Mana plain.

“It was hard work, too,” Isoshima said. “We had to put in the forms, get the concrete in, and after the concrete set, had to take out the forms.”

Harris said the Mana Wetlands Restoration Project is open to the public, who now can get answers from the kiosks when state people are not available.

“We can’t be here all the time and the kiosks are for the many people who stop here on a daily basis,” Harris said. “We have visitors, returning visitors, and even residents who wonder what these bodies of water are on the side of the road.”

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