Hawai‘i Volcanoes Park Offering Activities in May

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Photo courtesy of NPS/Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is offering a series of public events and activities throughout the month of May including talks, stewardship programs, guided hikes and Hawaiian cultural workshops. All park events are free but entrance fees apply.

For the latest updates, visitors are encouraged to check the park’s calendar of events and look for program flyers posted after 9:30 a.m. on the Kīlauea Visitor Center bulletin board.

Upcoming Events


Stewardship of Kīpukapuaulu: Help remove troublesome plants at Kīpukapuaulu, home to diverse native forest and understory plants. Bring clippers or pruners, sturdy gloves, a hat and water. Wear closed-toe shoes and clothing that you don’t mind getting permanently stained from morning glory sap. Be prepared for cool and wet or hot and sunny weather. New volunteer? Contact Marilyn Nicholson for more info at [email protected].
When: Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. (May 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30).
Where: Meet at the Kīpukapuaulu parking lot, Mauna Loa Road, off Highway 11 in the park.

Stewardship at the Summit: Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Under 18? Parental or guardian accompaniment or written consent is required. Visit the park website for additional planning details.
When: May 4, 9, 17, 25 and 31. Meet at 8:45 a.m.
Where: Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center on any of the above dates.

A Walk into the Past with Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar: Walk back to 1912, and meet the founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar, at the edge of Kīlauea Volcano. Dressed in period costume, Ka‘ū actor-director Dick Hershberger brings the renowned geologist to life. Dr. Jaggar will take you on a tour of his tiny lab located below the Volcano House to see original seismograph equipment and other early instruments. You’ll learn what motivated Dr. Jaggar to dedicate his life to the study of Hawaiian volcanoes, and how his work helps save lives today. Space is limited. Pick up a free ticket at the Kīlauea Visitor Center’s front desk the day of the program. The program includes climbing stairs and entering a confined space.
When: May 7, 14, 21 and 28, at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Each performance is about an hour.
Where: Meet at Kīlauea Visitor Center.


Explore Kahuku: The Kahuku Unit is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free to explore. Take a self-guided hike, or join rangers on Sundays in March for a two-hour guided trek starting at 9:30 a.m. (The trail will vary depending on visitor interest.) Enter the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5. Kahuku is located in Ka‘ū, and is about a 50-minute drive south of the park’s main entrance. Sturdy footwear, water, rain gear, sun protection and a snack are recommended for all hikes.

Kākau Discussion: Author and ethnographer P.F. “Ski” Kwiatoswki will speak about Hawaiian kākau (tattoos) and their origins and counterparts in other aspects of Hawaiian crafts. He will display a collection of tattoo needles and materials that are used in creating the needles, ink and tattoos themselves. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops.
When: Wednesday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai.

The Road to Recovery: One Year Later – The epic Kīlauea eruption and caldera collapse of 2018 forever changed Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and resulted in most of the park closing for 134 days due to unsafe, unpredictable and unprecedented eruptive activity at the volcano’s summit. Although a hurricane, two tropical storms and a wildfire added to the intensity of an unforgettable year, park rangers continued to serve the public at locations outside the park, and the Kahuku Unit expanded its hours of operation. Most of the park is now open, but some areas remain closed. Park managers will present a community update about the challenges and successes of 2018, and how staff is working hard to open more areas. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series.
When: Thursday, May 9, at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium.


Nā Wai Chamber Choir in Concert: Join us on a musical journey that honors the music of both historic and modern-day mana wahine. Based in Honolulu, Nā Wai Chamber Choir is a professional vocal ensemble that preserves, propagates and innovates the legacy of Hawaiian choral music. Hilo native, Dr. Jace Kaholokula Saplan, will lead the ensemble on their annual kau wela tour. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series.
When: Tuesday, May 14, at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium.

Kōkō Demonstration: Hawaiians used kōkō (carrying nets) for hanging calabashes and usually made them from sennit. Kokō pu‘alu, a style reserved for the common classes, utilized the basic umi‘i, or fisherman’s know. Bring your water bottle or pick one up at the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association store and make your very own customized kōkō. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops.
When: Wednesday, May 22, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai.

The Landfill Crisis in Hawai‘i: from Hopeless to Hopeful – It may come as no surprise that many of the state’s landfills are at, or are rapidly approaching, full capacity. A major contributor to this crisis is non-recyclable plastics and similar materials. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now roughly three times the size of France, and growing. Ocean currents regularly carry this marine debris onto beaches throughout Hawai‘i. Fortunately, there are solutions. Guest speakers Lori Kahikina of the City of Honolulu Department of Environmental Services and Jim Howe, emergency services director, present a sobering look at the future of Hawai‘i and a call to action that provides hope while separating myth from reality. Representatives from NOAA, Mokupāpapa Discovery Center, the County of Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund will also participate. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series.
When: Tuesday, May 28, at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium.

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