East Hawaii News

Volunteerism to be Celebrated Saturday at Hawaii Volcanoes

September 24, 2012, 1:23 PM HST
* Updated September 24, 1:24 PM
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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will waive its entrance fees Saturday in recognition of National Public Lands Day.

The event, which will be observed at all 397 national parks, is the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the US.

Hawaii Volcanoes will offer several special programs Saturday including two volunteer projects and a guided hike of a new trail in the park’s Kahuku area.

The programs include:

  • “Save Halema‘uma‘u

    Park officials need help clearing the Halema‘uma‘u Trail of invasive species such as kahili ginger, seen at left of trail. HVNP photo.

    Trail.” Join park rangers and remove invasive kāhili ginger from one of the park’s most historic and treasured scenic trails, Halema‘uma‘u Trail from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meet at Kīlauea Visitor Center, and wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, raingear, garden gloves and tools, a day pack, lunch and water. No advance registration required.

  • Kīpuka ‘Akihi, described as an “adventure in stewardship,” is offered in the park’s Kahuku section from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants must be able to hike a challenging 1.5 miles and be prepared to scramble over fallen trees, lava rock and slippery, wet terrain. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, long pants, sunscreen and a hat. Bring raingear, garden gloves, a day pack, insect repellent, lunch and water. This forest stewardship program provides opportunities to help protect this rainforest by pulling up invasive kāhili ginger and other invasive non-native plants throughout the kīpuka, which harbors rare plants and wildlife. No advance registration required.
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A guided hike of Kahuku’s new Palm Trail is also available Saturday. It is a relatively easy 2.6-mile loop traversing through scenic pasture along an ancient cinder cone with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. The guided hike is from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Park and meet at the visitor contact tent, near the ranch buildings. Boots, raingear, long pants plus water and a snack are recommended. No advance registration required.

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Kahuku is located on the mauka side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5. Drive through the gate, park and meet at the visitor-contact tent located near the ranch buildings.

The non-profit group Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is also seeking volunteers for a forest restoration project Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Advance registration is required. For more information, contact [email protected] or call (808) 352-1402.

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