KAPAIA — Calah Nakasone of the Judiciary Department, Community Service division said the work being done Thursday morning was where everything starts as she hefted her hoe to break apart a clump of guinea grass in an empty lot adjoining Ma‘ala Road.
“This is good,” Nakasone said. “Our clients are sourced throughout the island, but for the Drug Court, this is one of their service projects. It’s giving back. This is where it starts. This is progress. It’s awesome.”
Nakasone was one of nearly 50 volunteers who wielded hoes, picks, machetes, and other utensils to do work on the 5-acre site which will eventually house the drug treatment center for adolescents in Kapaia.
“I just want to make sure that we really want to thank the residents of Hanamaulu for making this happen,” said Theresa Koki of Life’s Choices program, coordinator of the clean up effort. “This is the Field of Dreams.”
Koki said after looking over the property and its physical restrictions, she knows that road improvement will need to take place.
She said participating volunteers for the work day included the Drug Court and its staff, Women In Need, the YWCA of Kauai, the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney (OPA), and the Judiciary Dept., Community Service division.
“It’s such a nice feeling to see these people actually doing the work,” Koki said, applying first aid to a blister from a volunteer from the OPA. “They know how to do the work instead of just telling people what needs to be done. Bob Farias has been generous in keeping this lot mowed.”
Tom Lindsey of the Kauai Community Correctional Center was one of those wielding a machete to hack out guinea grass root clumps.
“There is a greater mission than just clearing the land,” Lindsey said. “We have people coming together and working together as ‘ohana. Listen to what is going on — this is ‘ohana, and ‘ohana is community. This project brings people together to work together. This is where everything starts.”
The group erupted in cheer when a trailer bearing the Porta Potties appeared along the narrow road.
“This is always fun when you get together,” said Crystal Battulayan of Women In Need. “Especially if you’re doing something good.”