On April 24, the museum teamed up with Kokua Hawai‘i Foundation to hold a Magic Island cleanup as part of programming for the Spalding House exhibition Plastic Fantastic?. We were thrilled with the great turnout—300 people (many of them staff of our corporate partners!) made their way to Ala Moana Regional Park and collected a total 340 pounds of trash. If you were part of the team filling oversize feed bags with garbage—mahalo nui!

The event was a first for the museum, and the staff was on new territory. “There was a beach cleanup on Magic Island the day before,” said Spalding House director Aaron Padilla. “I was kind of worried that we wouldn’t be able to find any rubbish to pick up!” (It turns out there was a lot.)

Volunteers collected over 340 lbs of rubbish

Volunteers collected over 340 lbs of rubbish

Events coordinator Wainani Paikai did the organizational legwork, and didn’t know whether 20 or 200 people would sign on for the day. The Thursday before the cleanup she seemed almost shell-shocked to report to communications staff that “we’ve already got more than 300 RSVPs.”

The cleanup went off without a hitch and thanks to our volunteers, left the park more inviting for the public. Here are the numbers.

Volunteers: More than 300
Time spent: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Trash collected: 340 lbs

The cleanup helped make real one of the underlying messages of Plastic Fantastic?, “It was a great turn out, much more than I expected,” said Padilla “It was a great example of diverse communities coming together and taking care of our collective home, and it was hard to leave the beach that day and not feel content and proud; we all were a part of something good and right. While I foresee us doing more projects like this in the future, this is something that is easy and scalable. Any trip to the beach can be a personal clean up; every little bit counts.”

“We were excited to have so many volunteers—including corporate partners, school clubs, and museum members—show up wanting to make a difference,” said Paikai. “I was so happy to see the community come together and help the earth one piece of plastic at a time.”

The museum thanks Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation, Bank of Hawaii, First Insurance Company of Hawaii, LIST Sotheby’s, Bloomingdales, Farrington High School, Punahou High School Key Club, and all the members and individuals who came out to make this event a success.

One of many selfies taken that day

One of many selfies taken that day

5.2.2016