Diamond Head naupaka being replanted
Huge areas of naupaka on the mountainside of Diamond Head Road are apparently dead, while small areas appear dead here and there. What has happened and is anyone taking care of it?
Answer: If you were out on Saturday, you would have seen volunteers replanting the naupaka shrubs that were damaged during and after a rockfall in March.
However, a lot more of the dying plants still need to be taken out and replanted.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources maintains the mountainside of Diamond Head Road, with the help of Friends of Diamond Head, while the city Department of Parks and Recreation maintains the makai side, with the help of Adopt-A-Park groups and a contractor.
We first asked about the dying naupaka in December, but got no answer until DLNR issued a news release warning of road and parking closures because of the Saturday replanting project.
The East Diamond Head Community Association purchased 150 naupaka plants for the project, with 25 members of Soka Gakkai International doing the replanting.
Many naupaka shrubs, as well as irrigation lines, were damaged during the "mitigation and cleanup" of the rockfall in April.
The irrigation lines have now been replaced, while "much of the naupaka is making a comeback," except for bushes that died toward the Kahala side of the damaged area, a DLNR official said.
The dead plants will need to be cut down and replanted, but "we are still determining how the rest of the dead plants are going to be replaced," DLNR spokeswoman Deborah Ward said yesterday.
Former Star-Bulletin writer Lois Taylor wrote about the contributions and efforts of volunteers to turn what was once "a tangle of scrub haole koa, weeds and rubbish" into "healthy stands of naupaka and parking areas" along Diamond Head Road (Ever Green, Star-Bulletin, Nov. 8, 1996).
The "most generous of these donors" was identified as Muriel Flanders, who "endowed the project with a sum large enough to ensure its permanent maintenance," Taylor wrote.
In recognition of her contributions, the Muriel Flanders Rest Area was dedicated along Diamond Head Road, ".03 of a mile Waikiki of Triangle Park."
"To give credit where it is due, this naupaka planting project was initiated by the Friends of Diamond Head to beautify the oceanside face of Diamond Head," Ward said. "They continue to maintain the area."
But DLNR undertook the latest replanting because cleanup of the rockfall ended up damaging the plants, she said.
To the two wahines who walk each morning around Olomana talking so loud you would think they are fighting. This continuous banter wakes up my family at 6 a.m. each day. What's worse, they come back down our street twice. Give us a break, walk on the highway. -- Sleepless in the Country
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