By Tommy Noyes
The Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park invite you to spend a few hours giving back to our ‘aina. As poet Maya Angelou advises, “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”
Think of Earth Day as a balancing act — a means of promoting harmony and a healthier environment for our children and all who enjoy the beach and playground.
The Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park coordinate frequent volunteer cleaning and maintenance work sessions in the well-used public beach park. As a means of balancing and enhancing our land and water, with good intent and great acts of kindness and caring for our home, the Beach Cleanup Team gathers every Saturday morning at 8:30 to care for and tidy up the popular swimming ponds beach area.
You’re invited to celebrate Earth Day with a community workday on Saturday, April 16. This event provides numerous opportunities to devote time and energy in support of our ’aina, and emphasizes family fun. Plan to join the Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park at 7:30 a.m. on Earth Day for a feel-good day of family fun. Volunteers are urged to wear shoes and bring their own work gloves, water bottle and sun protection.
The Earth Day festivities begin with the optional 1st Annual Family Fitness Swim & Run Challenge, organized by Jacob “Smilie” Punzal and Candee Riopta from Au‘rai Fitness. Combined swim and run races have been designed for participants performing at various fitness levels, and include keiki events.
“We’re looking forward to five to eleven year olds for the children’s bracket,” said Smilie. “Their route would be swimming inside the enclosed swimming pond area. If they feel a little panicky or anything happens they can just stand up because the deepest area is around three feet. Then they’ll run a short course on the sand and path. Each kid will receive a souvenir of the race.”
Sign-in for this free 750-meter swim and 2.1 mile run sunrise event opens at 6 a.m. in the main pavilion. Donations will be gratefully accepted. Contestants of all abilities are welcome, with details and registration at www.Kamalani.org.
After the Challenge, racers are urged to participate in the Earth Day cleanup and park maintenance activities. Challenge results will be announced at lunch.
“We have a broad lineup of volunteering options, and welcome you to share your personal skills and life experiences,” said Operations Section Chief Bob Robertson. “Our two big pushes will be applying non-toxic wood sealer to the Kamalani Kai Bridge, and marine debris removal from the park’s coastline. All skill levels and age groups are welcome to participate.”
Volunteer registration for the community workday begins at 7:30 a.m. in the main pavilion at Lydgate Park. During the workday volunteers will be provided with drinking water, snacks and coffee, and lunch will be served.
Visit www.kamalani.org or call Tommy at 639-1018 for more information or to register as a volunteer.
- Tommy Noyes is Kaua‘i Path’s executive director, a League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor and active with the Kaua‘i Medical Reserve Corps.