Kokua Line: Is xeriscape garden open to public?

Question: There used to be a succulent garden where the public could learn about different plants that didn’t use much water, and sometimes they gave away mulch, but I don’t hear about it anymore. I think it closed during the pandemic. Will it reopen?

Answer: We believe you are referring to the Halawa Xeriscape Garden, which grows and displays plants that thrive on Oahu without much water, including succulents. The Honolulu Board of Water Supply opened the demonstration garden to the public in 1989, “as a way to educate Oahu residents on ways to save water in lawns, gardens, and landscaped areas,” the BWS website says. The 3-acre xeric garden is closed for a construction project, not still because of the pandemic, and is expected to reopen in April.

The BWS hasn’t given away free mulch at this site since July 2014, the website says, “to align with statewide efforts to prevent the spread of invasive pests. Mulch piles are potential breeding sites for the Rhinoceros Beetle, an invasive scarab beetle that feeds on coconut palms.”

The Halawa Xeriscape Garden, located in Halawa Valley’s Central Park Industrial Area, was closed for an extended period during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and afterward, but it did reopen to the public in February. The current closure, which began in late December, is for construction work that is scheduled to run through April and includes upgrading the garden’s office building and pavilion, including new roofing, lighting and other electrical work, and interior and exterior painting.

On the topic of water conservation, while looking into your question we noticed a news release from the BWS promoting “a special, limited-time $100 toilet rebate” available today through April 18. “Customers who replace outdated, inefficient toilets with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense labeled model (1.28 gallons per flush or less) will now be eligible to receive the rebate. The special offer will be available for only 90 days,” it said.

“To be eligible, BWS customers must provide a proof of purchase receipt. These special rebates are limited to four per household and 10 for commercial customers,” according to the news release, which said details would be posted at www.boardofwatersupply.com/rebates.

Q: I’m confused about getting an appointment for a driver’s license renewal at the Wahiawa location and am unable to get in touch with anyone there, so I hope you can answer my questions. If I make an appointment through AlohaQ, do I also have to make any other appointments? I see a “Virtual Line” phone number and “scheduled ticket hours.” I’ve also heard about someone thinking they had made an appointment for 8 a.m. but not being taken until noon, so I don’t want to make a mistake that will cost me hours of waiting. Does AlohaQ do all the scheduling I need to renew?

A: You can make the appointment through the city’s AlohaQ online reservation system, without making a telephone call or standing in line. So the answer to your first question is “no,” and the answer to your second question is “yes.” We’ll use your questions as an opportunity to remind Oahu residents how to schedule an appointment for certain serv­ices at a driver’s license center or satellite city hall.

>> Go to alohaq.honolulu.gov.

>> Choose a category. To renew a driver’s license, you would click on “Driver Licensing and Satellite Services.”

>> Click on “Make Appointment.”

>> Select a location. You would click on “Wahiawa Driver License, State ID” in the column of green tabs.

>> Select a service. You would click on “Hawaii License Renewal.”

>> Answer a question about whether you have all the documents required to renew your license. You can ask for help verifying that you do (clicking that option will take you to a document guide) or confirm directly that you have them.

>> Select date and time for your appointment (what the system calls your “scheduled ticket”). To reserve the appointment, you’ll input your first and last name and your mobile phone number.

>> You can log back in to the system if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment.


Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-500, Honolulu, HI 96813; call 808-529-4773; or email [email protected].


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