KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The mess was worth it.
Students got down and dirty to help restore a taro patch and in return they can now receive an education they deserve.
Saint Francis School headed a mission alongside Damien Memorial School and Sacred Hearts Academy to clear the more than two-century old Kawaii Nui Marsh in Kailua of invasive species.
The three-school cleaning effort allowed students to get in touch with their culture and help earn their tuition at the same time.
Those who participated are members of the PWH Educational Foundation, an organization which helps deserving students whose families cannot afford a Catholic education.
This educational service project allowed students to give back to the community and culture by restoring Ulupo Heiau, a historic site on both Hawaii and national registers.
Between squishing around in the mud and ruining clothes they probably can't wear again, the students were able to weed several hundred pounds of invasive species from the taro patch.
Not only was the patch purged of harmful plants and vegetation it was also restored with new native plants which can now thrive in a friendlier environment.
Each school donated money to Ahauhui Malama I Ka Lokahi in order restore the native plants being over run by foreign competitors. Ahauhui Malama I Ka Lokahi is a non-profit dedicated to preserving native species and ecosystems.