GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Nessa Vierra, center, president of Friends of Kapena Falls, pointed out areas to be planted near the Nuuanu waterfall yesterday to Roger Fornier of the USS Denver. Members of the Navy ship volunteered to help replant the area with native Hawaiian plants.
Navy sailors replant several native species at Kapena Falls
HIS SOIL-COVERED hands dug deep into the hills of Kapena Falls as Marvin Lim planted a palapalai, a rare Hawaiian native fern.
Usually, Lim is busy repairing helicopters aboard the USS Denver.
"This is what serving our country is all about," said the 22-year-old Navy sailor, who, along with 30 of his peers, joined volunteers from the Friends of Kapena Falls, Outdoor Circle and Department of Land and Natural Resources yesterday in replenishing the historic Hawaiian site with native plants.
The Navy crew, based in California, is one of several vessels in the Rim of the Pacific maritime exercises, which continue through July 28. Seven nations are participating.
The volunteer project in Nuuanu was put together in less than 24 hours when the Navy requested the crew take part in a community service project a day earlier.
"I had all these native plants and no one to plant them," said Jackie Ralya, DLNR horticulturist. "It couldn't have been more perfect."
More than 400 native plants were purchased and donated to DLNR by the television series "Lost" after filming at Kapena Falls twice in the past two seasons.
The project was Phase I of an ongoing effort to target erosion problems, a concern some residents feel was due to filming.
"We want to give back and leave the area even better than we found it," said Jim Triplett, location manager for the show.
In addition to dragging heavy film equipment through the rocky trail, 50 television crew members worked near one of Nuuanu's largest pools.
The "Lost" production also donated a sprinkler system to a Japanese cemetery last year.
Yesterday's project was one of several restoration efforts by the television crew. Another major one included work at the Kaiwi Reserve, where "Lost" staff collected abandoned cars that filled four 40-yard trash containers.
Many locals are pleased with the Kapena Falls undertaking, including Nuuanu resident and Friends of Kapena Falls President Nessa Vierra.
Vierra took action three years ago when a jeep was pushed over the falls for a movie stunt.
"I asked why they could do that, and they said because the pond didn't have a guardian," Vierra said. "In a second, I said, 'Now she does.'"