Monsanto workers, families help remove invasive plants at Kealia

A group of Monsanto employees and their families volunteered more than 40 hours recently to help Kealia Pond staff remove invasive plant species and restore native plants.

They also helped clean interpretative signs and pick up trash.

In addition to donating manpower, Monsanto employees also secured a $500 grant that will be used to purchase a telescope to enable the public to learn more about Kealia Pond’s critical habitat, home to the endangered Hawaiian stilt (ae’o) and Hawaiian coot (‘ala eke oke’o).

“Invasive plants are a real issue in this wildlife refuge,” said Courtney Brown, park manager for the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge. “This is a concentrated urban core area, and many of the invasive plants outcompete the native plants. With a our small staff, we’re very grateful for service groups like Monsanto coming out to help us maintain these wetlands.”

Monsanto employee Ashley Lindsay, who was raised on Maui and learned about native plants and restoration work while attending the University of Hawaii Maui College studying sustainable agriculture and natural resources, is passionate about using her knowledge to save Maui’s threatened habitats, according to a news release.

Today, she serves as nursery supervisor for Monsanto.

“It’s important that we restore and preserve the aina for future generations,” said Lindsay.