Video by David Corrigan
PUNA, Hawaii – This weekend, Puna’s “resiliency of spirit” was celebrated with a series of events. On Highway 132, volunteers joined the Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC) to help control invasive albizia trees. The stretch of road between Pohoiki and Pahoa was once lined by a tall canopy of albizia trees, especially near Lava Tree State Park. But when Tropical Storm Iselle hit Hawaii Island on August 7, 2014, the landscape was dramatically altered. On Saturday, we filmed the “Albizia Assassins”, who were targeting the trees using proven methods of control. Franny Brewer, the Communications Director for the BIISC guided us around the busy work area.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Saturday, October 24, will be a day for Puna residents to celebrate their resiliency of spirit.
The day will begin with a volunteer event hosted by the Big Island Invasive Species Committee, who will be working side by side with residents to control trees on astretch of Highway 132 once known as the “tree tunnel” due to its towering albizia. Hundreds of these trees fell during Iselle and many more were cut back or removed bythe state after the storm to prevent additional damage. A year later, regrowth of thenotoriously fast-growing albizia trees along the roadside is visible, while large standsof remaining trees continue to seed the area. Volunteers who want to join in the community effort to control this threat and become “Albizia Assassins” are invited to meet at 9am at Lava Tree State Park for training and ahalf-day of albizia control.
Volunteers are asked to wear long pants, long sleeved shirts,and sturdy shoes. BIISC staff will train volunteers to treat albizia with herbicide usingan easy and safe method developed at the University of Hawaii. There will berefreshments, and all participating Volunteers will receive a free “Assassin” t-shirt courtesy of Sen. Russell Ruderman, who has been a staunch advocate for albizia controlin the state legislature.
From 3-8pm, the Main Street in Pahoa will be closed to traffic for the Puna ResiliencyBlock Party, hosted by the UH Hilo Anthropology Department. Puna residents of allages are invited to enjoy live music, local craft vendors, and education booths. More than 50 organizations and individuals will be on hand to share the community’s uniqueand creative approaches to resiliency.
For more information on the event day, see www.biisc.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.