Lion friends lend a hand at Highlands Intermediate Aquaponics Garden

Mar 27, 2021 | PC Community

This morning was another wonderful opportunity for community volunteers from the Pearl City Lions Club and Mana Loa Nimitz Lions Club (Aiea) to partner while bridging their two communities as they teamed up to help with much needed garden maintenance of the Highlands Intermediate aquaponics facility in Pearl City.

Mahalo to Mana Loa Lions President Brian Nitta and his amazing club community volunteers who joined me and my fellow Pearl City Lions Club community volunteers during this morning’s work day at Highlands Intermediate School.

Mahalo also goes out to Highlands Intermediate School Principal Amy Martinson. Vice Principal Sara Yoshimura, Vice Principal Gary Kanamori,  and Science teacher and aquaponics advisor Angelo Laskowsky who welcomed all the volunteers and also worked alongside us throughout the morning.

We started out early at 6:30am cleaning up the grounds by trimming back trees, weed whacked, and racked up leaves around the school’s aquaponics garden facility.

Inside the aquaponics garden, volunteers pulled weeds, racked up leaves, and cleared out water lines that feed the aquaponics fish tanks and plant beds. Volunteers also cleaned the aquaponics outdoor laboratory sink station.

The experience was very rewarding for us all as we proudly represented our clubs together as a part of Hawaii Lions District 50 with our focus on bettering the lives of residents in our communities through our community service efforts.

We were grateful for the opportunity to help out at the aquaponics garden and were excited and  inspired to hear that the students will return soon to their aquaponics garden outdoor learning center.  

Mr. Angelo Laskowsky

“I did a virtual tour of the garden now that the kids are coming back to the classroom and they looked at it and said “oh my gosh, there is so much work to do and they just want to get their hands in.”  I said that the Lions club was coming in to help out and wanted to make it so that they could just focus on the learning and less on the garden maintenance.

When the kids see that other people care about what they’re doing, especially in this time when we are super separated and isolated from each other, they see it and want to give back more. I really appreciate everyone’s help.”

Thank you very much to the Mana Loa Nimitz Lions Club and Pearl City Lions Club for helping out today. It’s truly an honor and blessing to see everybody here from the community working. Thank you to Barry from the Pearl City Lions Club for helping to organize today.”

I want to extend a very special mahalo to Senator Bennette Misalucha and Senator Sam Kong from the Mana Loa Nimitz Lions Club and Representative Gregg Takayama from the Pearl City Lions Club who once again served the community from their heart and soul. They are true Lions and are always there to help with community volunteer projects.

Finally, mahalo to Dexter Aoki who is the driving force behind the Mana Loa Nimitz Lions Club’s success in the community as he leads the way each week implementing volunteer projects that truly make a difference,

“Community team heroes walk, work, and serve as one”… Lion Barry


Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Pictured: Dexter Aoki (Mana Loa Nimitz Lions Club) Amy Martinson (Principal,

Highlands Intermediate), Brian Nitta (President, Mana Loa Nimitz Lions Club).

and Angelo Laskowsky (Science teacher, Highlands Intermediate).

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Pictured: Representative Gregg Takayama (Pearl City Lions Club),

and Mary Takeshita (Mana Loa Nimitz Lions Club).



Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Highlands Intermediate School Vice Principal Sara Yoshimura points

to the inscription left behind in the cement from Pearl City Lions Club

volunteers during a work project at the school on February 4, 1978.


Pearl City Lions Club volunteers built the sidewalk and

installed infrastructure to the facility that would later serve as

the school’s aquaponics garden and outdoor science classroom.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]