Maui News

Hāna Highway Cleanups Are a Family Affair; Notestone Family Honored

June 17, 2021, 5:16 AM HST
* Updated June 17, 5:17 AM
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Gale Notestone receives the No Ka Oi Highway Hui Award in recognition of the Notestone Crew’s decades-long volunteerism for the Adopt-A-Highway program. Courtesy image.

The Department of Transportation’s Highways Division selected the Notestone Crew to receive the Nō Ka ʻOi Highway Hui Awards. The quarterly recognition honors Adopt-A-Highway participants that have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the anti-litter public service program.

When Hāna resident Gale Notestone signed up to become an Adopt-A-Highway volunteer more than 20 years ago, his children were “young and small.” Today, they’re grown up and ready to take over what has now become a multigenerational family commitment.

“I’ve always wanted to help out and keep things nice,” said Notestone. “I’ve always thought (Adopt-A-Highway) was a great program. I’ve tried to teach my kids to take care of the land and do volunteer work, and not just take care of our own property, but the land around us and the communities around us.”

“It’s very enjoyable! We go out, people honk their horns, say ‘thank you.’ It makes you feel good.”

The Notestone Crew typically has six volunteers at each of their cleanups. Most are family members, joined by neighbors and friends from the Hāna area. The group recently renewed their Adopt-A-Highway agreement with HWY-M, with Gale’s son Micah Notestone taking over as their lead Adopt-A-Highway volunteer.

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“I told my son: ‘Hey, I think it’s time for you to take over, keep it going,'” Gale Notestone said. “He’s joined many times and he wants to do it. Of course, I’ll still be participating and making sure he’s doing it right.”

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“We greatly appreciate all that the Notestone family and their neighbors and friends have done over the years to help keep their area along Hāna Highway free of environmental pollutants like litter,” said Ty Fukuroku, program manager, Environmental Management, HWY-M. “Their spirit of public service is both outstanding and humbling.”

Gale Notestone served as Hāna Fire Captain for the County of Maui; Micah Notestone is a firefighter with the Maui Fire Department.

After being temporarily suspended due to the pandemic situation, Adopt-A-Highway cleanups on Maui have resumed with a new requirement: cleanup participants must comply with all State and Maui County COVID-19 public emergency health rules. Adopt-A-Highway groups also commit to adopting a two-mile portion of a state highway for a minimum of two years, pick up litter on their section of the highway at least four times per year, and undergo safety training before each cleanup event.

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Organizations on Maui interested in signing up for Adopt-A-Highway can search for available highway segments at HWY-M’s stormwater website. Applications, cleanup forms, a safety training video and program information are also available on the website.

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