WHO WE ARE
Greener Hawaii believes our keiki, our a'ina, our ocean, and all of life are "too precious to poison." We're a group of volunteers working to make our parks, schools, and roadsides herbicide-free, safer and more beautiful for all. And we're working on passing Herbicide Reduction legislation. We're happy to announce that Hawaii County Bill 101 to reduce chemical herbicide use passed into law on November 20th at its second hearing; unfortunately Mayor Harry Kim under pressure from Big Chem vetoed the bill. THE NEXT STEP: On January 8, 2020, the County Council will reconvene in the Hilo chambers and can override the veto. Please email your support for the override, or show up in person in Hilo or one of the other Council offices around the county to give testimony.
WHAT'S THE PROBLEM WITH ROUNDUP, CURRENTLY USED BY OUR COUNTY AND STATE WORKERS?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, pesticides such as Roundup are linked to childhood cancers, neurobehavioral and cognitive deficits, adverse birth outcomes, and asthma.
In adult populations, in addition to acute exposure symptoms such as headaches and asthma attacks, pesticide exposure has been linked to Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, bladder and colon cancer, Parkinson's disease, depression, and disrupting our endocrine systems, according to the Hawai'i Center for Food Safety.
A jury in California in August of 2018 awarded a man millions of dollars after agreeing with his allegations that Monsanto’s Roundup caused his terminal cancer. A judge upheld the verdict and Monsanto and everyone who uses Roundup (such as government employees) could be held liable in many more lawsuits.
Friends of Honoka'a Park have been worked since April 2017 weeding (both by hand and by machine), planting, mulching and beautifying this 24-acre park.
The family of enthusiastic volunteers maintained areas that were previously sprayed with Roundup and other herbicides, aiming to keep the park beautiful and our keiki safe, while participating in a global movement to relate with the environment in a responsible manner.
The county has learned from the volunteers and is now working in concert with them to keep the park green and safe for our keiki.
We invite you to join Greener Hawaii to help us achieve more with our initiatives than ever before. We have worked with the County of Hawaii Parks & Recreation Department to beautify our parks and make them safer for all to enjoy, while demonstrating how herbicide-free parks can be maintained without chemicals shown to cause cancer.
We support legislation on the County and State level to reduce the use of chemical herbicides. Learn more about what we do, who we help, and how we work every day to promote positive change... Join our Facebook group and follow our blog.
The excuse that the county cannot afford to use alternatives to herbicides no longer washes -- this was proven wrong in the 1990's (see videos below). As a society, we cannot afford the high cost of herbicide damage to our bodies, our 'aina, our ocean and our wildlife.
Greener Hawaii upholds the words of the Director of Health's Ginny Pressler, M.D., in her DOH mission and philosophy statements: 'To prevent pollution and promote and preserve a clean, healthy and natural environment for all people of Hawaii," and "Health, that optimal state of physical, mental, social and environmental wellbeing, is a right and responsibility of all of Hawaii's peoples." We encourage and ask that the DOH and state and county employees uphold this mission and philosophy too.
ISAAC HALE BEACH PARK
Volunteers met once a month to "green" the campground and playground areas that were previously sprayed with Roundup. Instead, we did manual weed management - weed whacking, pulling weeds by hand, and planting groundcovers and ornamentals at this beautiful beach park and surfing destination in Puna.
THE PARK AREA WE MAINTAINED IS NOW COVERED BY LAVA.
Refreshments and equipment were donated by ISLAND NATURALS PAHOA, as well as
ROZETT'S NURSERY, PAHOA FEED & FERTILIZER, AND PAHOA HARDWARE.
Volunteers worked since April 2017 to weed whack instead of spray around the ball field and new playground. The county is now taking over maintenance of this park, but always appreciates weed-pulling volunteers, especially from the teens using the ballpark.
KONA PARKS: Pualani Park, Aliikai
Birth Sovereignty Board members have joined hands with Greener Hawaii to help end Roundup use in our parks and on our roadsides. Birth Sovereignty supports basic public health measures and projects that create sovereignty in birth choices, health care access and environmental health as a vital component of broader cultural, social, economic and environmental sovereignty and justice issues. Traditional Midwife, Clare Loprinzi, is heading the Kona parks, but it is a kakou thing, it takes us all to do this for our keiki and environment. Greener Hawaii and Birth Sovereignty’s solution is finding reliable na kiai (guardians). We have community sport teams, churches, clean/sober living communities and other groups who have volunteered to help maintain the parks with county workers.
The response from Kona Crush Soccer Association echoes similar support from other groups: "Aloha Clare, Great to talk to you about your fight to remove glyphosate from our county parks. Send us some info on volunteer times for weed removal at Pualani and we will try to get KCSA parents out to help. Mahalo for your Love for the community. Teva"
Each support team will be shown and taught the work that is necessary to be done, and a schedule of monthly work teams and information is forthcoming and will be sent to na kiai and the Parks Dept. We are so grateful to Bridgehouse for their support in our two parks. We will be expanding to keep all parks and roads free from Roundup. We need your help in keeping our keiki healthier and creating beautiful parks and ballfields .
WORKING TOWARDS A BETTER TOMORROW
Our efforts to "green" Hawaii's parks and roadsides began in the 1990's with five trial oceanfront parks in Hilo, which are still herbicide-free to this day. Watch the video, SAFER AND GREENER PARKS IN HAWAII, about these successful park trials above or at Vimeo, where there is also a video on how 20 miles of roadsides around the county were successfully maintained with manual equipment only.
In the PARKS video, Carol Burgess interviews county officials and maintenance workers on how they met their objectives to create safe recreation areas, reduce toxic chemicals in the environment, provide scenic beauty and control soil erosion, all while staying within maintenance means.
Many benefits were achieved by eliminating herbicides from the five Keaukaha oceanfront parks in Hilo, said Burgess. These parks continue to be maintained without herbicides to this day, offering children the opportunity to run barefoot on the grass without their parents worrying that they’re absorbing chemicals. The ponds are clearer now that there’s no erosion from herbicided banks. There are no more brown, denuded areas around the trees, so there’s more space, and you can sit in beautiful green grass with your back up against a tree.
“In the beginning, more work had to be done,” conceded Burgess. “But no more county employees had to be hired. Community volunteers assisted the staff with special projects.”
George Yoshida, then Director of Parks & Recreation, said, “Maintaining the parks without herbicides takes more manpower, but herbicide-free parks have proved to be affordable, especially considering the money saved on purchasing and applying herbicides.”
Below is the video of Carol Burgess talking with County Roadside personnel about the success of the 20-mile trial project using NO SPRAY maintenance, in SAFER AND GREENER ROADSIDES.