Visit He’eia State Park & Revive an Important Estuary

by Hui o Koolaupoko

Located on Oahu’s windward coast lies He’eia State Park fronting Kane’ohe Bay which contains the island’s only barrier reef.  The bay is fed by an estuary where Invasive plants have found their way in, choking natural irrigation routes and making it nearly impassable for native fish like the ‘o’opu.

Help us clear the stream and bring back plants that aid in control of erosion and filter stormwater runoff.  Across from the estuary is an ancient Hawaiian fishpond, which by special agreement, allows our volunteers a rare chance to walk upon its walls to see a sustainable form of aqua-culture unique to this part of the world.  With your contributions, we will further our mission to bring the area back from what would otherwise be irreparable.

Highlights

  • Increase native Hawaiian plant habitat  
  • Remove invasive species
  • Get muddy
  • Earn passage to the largest kuapā (hand made walled) fishpond dating 600+ year in Hawaiian existence

Know before you book

  • Ability to perform gardening tasks while bending and lifting
  • no drop-ins; must register in advance clicking the calendar link on this page
  • Participants under age 16 must have adult supervision; Participants under the age of 18, attending without their parent or legal guardian must bring the signed waiver; all others will sign the waiver upon arrival

3 reviews

  1. Walking on an ancient fish pond wall

    I arrived at Heʻeia park by bus within an hour of leaving Waikiki. The welcome center redirected me to a slope where the estuary meets the sea fronting an 600+ year old fish pond – a sight I would have never known about had it not been for this wonderful project. Kristen and her intern TJ did a great job orienting us (about 18 today), by plucking 4 invasive plants and passing them around, then showing us the natives. First we plucked the bad for an hour, then during a snack break she explained more about the significance of this scenic area and her organization HOK. Soon we planted the good which felt really poignant – something to come back to see and know we made a difference. At noon we wrapped up. Then Kristen invited us to wade across the estuary and experience a rare privilege – walk upon the ancient fish pond walls- normally Kapu (off-limits) – but we were granted access. It was awe inspiring to stand under the haleʻs and see the little fish swim in through the mangrove fashioned gates where they stay until harvested. This pond, she explained, was among the largest to be fully encircled at sea by this ancient wall. Kristen also pointed out Coconut (aka Gilliganʻs) Island just yonder. Afterwards, all up us new found friend gathered at the Heʻeia grill right on the waterfront overlooking kayaks that were headed to the Kaneohe sandbar. Mahalo everyone. It was so great to volunteer, share, learn and experience with you today.

  2. Mud Fight

    What an experience! The Heʻeia park is a must see by it self and then the walk on the FishPond topped everything. I have never seen Stingrays before but we were lucky and saw some while walking on the pond.
    There is only one thing you have to consider when taking part in this great activity. You will get muddy so wear old shoes and clothes! But if you are okay with that it is a lot of fun!

  3. So much fun, very informative

    My boyfriend and I had such a fun time volunteering at He’eia State Park! We started the day with removing invasive plant species. as well as learning about all the native ones. We also got to walk across the stream and check out the fishpond which was really cool. We saw a bunch of fish since because it was a super clear day. Highly recommend! Thank you!

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Kamehameha Highway 46-465
Kaneohe 96744 HI US
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