Each year, teams of architects, engineers, and construction professionals compete to build sculptures from canned foods in support of the Hawai‘i Foodbank – CANstruction! This year’s theme, a “Garden of CANstructures” was meant to bring awareness to Climate Action and being a part of the (design) solution. Together with our teammates AHL and Coffman Engineers, we raised $5,236 (in can value and in donations) in support of the Hawai‘i Foodbank!
TEAM AHL/COFFMAN ENGINEERS/HHF PLANNERS CANSTRUCTURE INFO
Name: “Long Legged and Wetland Built, Meet Kūkuluae‘o, the Hawaiian Stilt”
Hānau ke kioea ka makua
Puka kana keiki he kūkuluae‘o, lele
Born was the curlew, the parent
Out came its child, a stilt, and flew
The Kūkuluae‘o or Ae‘o, was there at the beginning, its place of importance marked in the creation story, the Kumulipo, and as the physical manifestation of the fisherman God, Kū. Today, as an endangered, indigenous species, the Ae’o’s return to the few remaining shallow wetlands where it makes its home signifies the health, or frailty, of the wetlands that serve both as waterbird habitat and places to practice traditional indigenous subsistence – such as lo‘i and fishponds.
Ae‘o is a symbol of a healthy wetland ecosystem that can help to sustain Hawai‘i’s indigenous waterbirds AND it’s people!
Our Ae‘o build features 2,300 tuna cans, which is more than the estimated population of Ae‘o left in Hawai‘i (2,000). As engineers, planners, and designers, we can work to protect and restore wetland habitats, which can be beneficial to the entire watershed – a sustainable method for flood protection and abatement, improving water quality, and preventing shoreline erosion.