Lions in Action: Protecting Hawaii’s Environment

Hawaii is known for its beautiful landscapes, and it continues to be a popular travel destination spot for vacationers from around the world. However, just like any other community, maintaining the beauty and safety of Hawaii’s environment takes time, effort and money.

The Lions Step In

Injuries caused by worn sidewalks were costing the city of Honolulu millions of dollars in lawsuits. Preventing trash from being dumped in the ocean required the manpower to stencil every drain in the city. Lions in Hawaii joined together for hands-on community service. Through the Safe Sidewalks Project, they repaired and patched sidewalks in high-traffic areas to extend the life of the city blocks by about five years. They stenciled “No Dumping” messages on all drainage throughout the city to protect the ocean from unsafe trash. Other environmental projects included removing litter and cleaning up graffiti.

Working with the Community

“It’s become abundantly apparent to those of us in government that private public partnerships are really, really advantageous, particularly when money is tight,” said Pete Carlisle, the mayor of Honolulu. The Lions work closely with the city of Honolulu to identify the city’s environmental and maintenance needs and provide volunteer services to address those needs – helping the community as well as taxpayers. For example, the Safe Sidewalks Project helps to save the city thousands of dollars per city block.  “With the Lions involved, we get more done,” said Carlisle.

Fast Facts

Lions environmental service projects are one of the top five areas of service among clubs worldwide. During the 2011-2012 fiscal year, Lions reported planting over 15 million trees. Other environmental projects include recycling, community education and clean-up activities. Lions are committed to protecting, preserving and improving the environment.

Make it Happen: Clean Up Your Community

  • Do you work with other organizations? »
    We network with organizations that are well-known throughout the state, such as the Hawaii Red Cross and the Hawaii Food Bank. People recognize those names and start to recognize Lions as a household name, as well. By partnering with other organizations, you can have an even stronger impact while further promoting your club.
  • How does your club involve youth in environmental cleanup projects? »
    Start a campus club. Go to local colleges and tell students about how Lions serve the community. Young members will enjoy hands-on community service such as environmental cleanup, and the Lions can help them network outside of campus so when they’re ready to graduate, they already have the connections needed to get started.
  • Any special words of advice? »
    Work with city leaders to identify issues in the community that need to be addressed, and call upon Lions across the district to help out with community service projects. District wide projects allow Lions to meet other Lions, get new ideas and enjoy each other’s fellowship.

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