KOLOA — Julie Souza of Koloa felt that it was wonderful to close Maluhia Road to vehicular traffic so volunteers could clean out the Tree Tunnel on Saturday.
“This place is historic,” Souza said. “The trees are more than a hundred years old. We’re so lucky that Frank and Abby Santos of No Ka Oi Plants have so much aloha for Koloa. We couldn’t do this without their help and the 35 volunteers they brought.”
The annual cleanup marks the start of the Koloa Plantation Days celebration. The first pre-event, the Movie in the Park, was held Friday night at Poipu Beach Park.
“Mr. William McBryde planted these trees more than a hundred years ago,” said Haunani Kaimina‘auao, a member of the sixth generation of the Kimokeo lineage. “These were left over from a landscaping project at the Kukuiolono Park, and went across the Kaumuali‘i Highway and ran parallel to it almost all the way in to Lihue.”
During the Maluhia Road closure, volunteers were joined by county Public Works personnel with trucks and heavy equipment in moving away accumulated debris and cutting overgrowth. Volunteers from South Shore resorts contributed refreshments for all the workers.
The next time Maluhia Road will be closed will be during the Kauai Marathon on Sept. 4. The route takes runners up Maluhia Road to Kaumuali‘i Highway where they take a left turn and head to Omao Road.
Koloa Plantation Days marks its next event on Friday with the 17th annual Plantation Days Rodeo preliminary roping starting at 8:30 a.m. at the CJM Country Stables in Poipu. It will be followed by the Bull Bash, 5th annual Music in the Country with Food Truck Frenzy and barrel racing starting at 5 p.m.