The small but dedicated Hāna Lava Tube Group has received the Nō Ka ʻOi Highway Hui Award in recognition for its sustained volunteerism since 2005 for the Adopt-A-Highway program.
The public service program partners with community organizations and businesses to keep Maui’s environment clean. It is managed and administered by the State of Hawaiʻi, Department of Transportation, Highways Division.
“While they are not the largest of our Adopt-A-Highway volunteer groups, they are among the most dedicated and consistent,” said Ty Fukuroku, program manager, Environmental Management. “They’ve held more than 35 clean-ups since 2007, and we greatly appreciate their efforts to keep Maui beautiful and free of litter.”
Adopt-A-Highway volunteers do more than just beautify the highways by removing unsightly litter; they also prevent trash from blowing into and polluting Maui’s streams and ocean. The state works with community members on an ongoing basis to protect water quality and keep pollutants from entering Maui’s stormwater and ocean environment.
Presented quarterly, the Nō Ka ʻOi Highway Hui Award recognizes and celebrates groups that have continually met and/or exceeded the requirements of the Adopt-A-Highway program.
The Hāna Lava Tube group, organized by Chuck Thorne, also offers self-guided tours of an ancient cave formation in Hāna called Kaʻelekū Cavern.
“We have probably one of the most educational tours on the island that teaches people about geology,” said Thorne, a SCUBA diver. “I dive all the time and we see an awful lot of trash in the ocean. We adopted (a section of the highway) not only to do our part and clean up our neighborhood and help the ocean, but people see our (Adopt-A-Highway) sign and they come visit us at the Cave.”
Adopt-A-Highway partners with community volunteers to help pick up litter along Hawaiʻi’s state highways. Participants in the program agree to adopt a 2-mile portion of a state highway for a minimum of two years, pick up litter on their section of the highway at least four times per year, and undergo safety training before each cleanup event.
For more information about Adopt-A-Highway, visit www.stormwatermaui.com.