Puna News — Celebrate Puna’s Resiliency Saturday

image(Media release) — Saturday, Oct. 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 a stretch 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 by the state after the storm to prevent additional damage. A year later, regrowth of the notoriously fast-growing albizia trees along the roadside is visible, while large stands of 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 a half-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 using an easy and safe method developed at the University of Hawaii. There will be refreshments, and all participating Volunteers will receive a free “Assassin” t-shirt courtesy of Sen. Russell Ruderman, who has been a staunch advocate for albizia control in the state legislature.

From 3-8pm, the Main Street in Pahoa will be closed to traffic for the Puna Resiliency Block Party, hosted by the UH Hilo Anthropology Department. Puna residents of all ages 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 unique and creative approaches to resiliency.

For more information on the event day, see www.biisc.org or email biisc@hawaii.edu.

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