PEARL CITY, Hawaii (KHON2) — Earth Day has passed, but folks did not need to wait an entire year to make the world a greener place.
A large cleanup was held at the Pearl Harbor Bike Path on Saturday, April 23.
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Community members said it is long overdue because the path has become a dumping ground for stolen vehicles and other junk.
Around 30 neglected, stolen cars were removed from the Bike Path near Lehua Community Park on Saturday. It was an effort that required the help of local organizations, community members and the Navy.
“We’ve been trying to address it in smaller bits over the last couple of years, so today with the Rotary help and with other community organizations, we came out and made a major dent today by removing the vehicles that are in here,” said David “Duna” Hodge, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam community relations manager.
The City and County of Honolulu put the event together from Aiea to Waipahu. The City normally restricts organized cleanups to within 10 feet of the Bike Path, but Saturday was an exception.
“But most of the junk and the wrecked cars are much, much deeper than that,” said Nu’uanu resident Greg Hansen. “So we were able to arrange permission with the Navy, permission with the police department to go beyond the 10 feet to get deep in and try to get most of the junk out of here.”
Getting rid of the vehicles was the focus at Lehua Community Park, but local nonprofit Malama Pu’uloa was involved as well. They have been working for years to restore the area by removing invasive species and planting native ones in their place.
“Eventually they’ll plant along the entire bike path from the Pacfleet boat house, from Aiea, all the way west, to Ewa Beach,” Hodge said.
Joe Ferraro is in the Hawaii Bicycling League and said locals deserve everything that mainland bikers enjoy.
“You go to Alaska, you go to the east coast, beautiful biking paths! And we have everything, such a beautiful bike path here, except we need to clean it up and maintain it,” Ferraro said.
Other large cleanups will take coordination from several entities as the path runs through State, federal and private land, but folks can still do their part now.
“Feel free to reach out to the City’s Department of Facility Maintenance to adopt a portion of the trail, if you’d like,” Honolulu City councilmember Brandon Elefante said.
Below you can find a list of some of the organizations who helped with Saturday’s cleanup and a link to the Honolulu Department of Facility Maintenance website.
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“We had a lot of folks that are not from this area that really came through and pitched in and collaborated. And when you find that synergy all coming together, we can get a lot done,” Elefante said
Correction: An earlier version of this story listed an inaccurate number of cars that were removed. The error has been corrected.