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Preschool is latest focus for Ewa cleanup

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Ewa Weed & Seed, dedicated to reducing crime, restoring and beautifying areas within the Ewa community, will tackle blight along an area of Fort Weaver Road today.

Organizers hope volunteers from the community will participate in the Neighborhood Kokua Project at Blessings from Heaven Preschool, where they will focus on improving the playground area for preschoolers, plant grass and clear an area for gardening.

The preschool is in an area of Fort Weaver Road that serves as a main thoroughfare in Ewa Beach but has been "plagued with blight," said Reina Miya­moto, program director at the Hawaii HomeOwnership Center, an affiliate of the national NeighborWorks Networks, which seeks to increase homeownership, produce affordable housing and revitalize neighborhoods.

"When people are more involved in their community, it deters crimes because people become more aware of what’s going on in their community," Miyamoto said.

Saturday’s project is the second in a series of quarterly beautification projects for Ewa Weed & Seed.

While the focus is Blessings from Heaven Preschool, depending on the number of volunteers, there could be the opportunity to clean up the surrounding area.

Gale Braceros, Ewa Weed & Seed’s site coordinator, said she is hoping that 20 to 30 volunteers come out and help beginning at 8:30 a.m. until noon.

"It’s about making the community a safer place and giving back," said Braceros.

During the last few months, illegal dumping behind the preschool has increased, she said. Braceros and her team went to the site Tuesday to do some preparation and spent the day ridding the area of "nasty trash." Now the site is ready to be gardened by volunteers.

"If everyone pitched in just a little bit, it would make a huge difference, and then it would be contagious all over," Miyamoto said.

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