On November 22nd 2014 the Surfrider Foundation Oahu Chapter and Permablitz Hawaii officially joined forces for the first ever SurfBlitz at the University of Hawaii Manoa Free Garden and Environmental Center Garden.
A #surfblitz takes the concepts from Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Garden (OFG) program and works them into the permaculture reciprocal volunteer network used by Permablitz Hawaii to foster food security and stormwater runoff mitigation through engaged communities. The OFG program creates solutions to our leading cause of near-shore water pollution – stormwater runoff – by breathing life back into the aina through CPR – conservation, permeability, and retention.
By creating gardens in our backyards, schools, and even commercial spaces using CPR, communities can stop pollutants from flowing out to sea by decreasing impervious surface (hard spaces like driveways, rooftops, and parking lots) and creating gardens that allow water from these hard surfaces to return to our soils and aquifers.
By using permaculture design, each garden begins to connect people back to the land and teach them tools for self sufficient food production. Our communities rely heavily on imported food in Hawaii and reducing this dependence is required for a sustainable future.
Working at the Free Garden in concert with the art department and Eating in Public gives Surfblitz a high visibility site to direct interest towards future gardens and to these connected organizations. Student and university groups will maintain and harvest a selection of food crops, herbs, and native plants at the two campus locations.
Within the Free Garden a solar powered moisture sensor will allocate water through a drip system to aid in water conservation. At the Environmental Center a rain barrel catchment system will pump water through another drip irrigation line to water food crops.
At both sites invasive grasses were removed and bare soil was sheet covered in mulch to enhance permeability, conserve water and soil, and allow for retention of runoff and rain water. The project involved 30 dedicated volunteers of all ages who gave up their Saturday to be a part of this awesome project. Mahalo to everyone for their amazing efforts.
Click here to find a series of pictures from before, during, and after the Surfblitz.