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VNP Expresses Appreciation to its Volunteers

January 23, 2020, 7:17 AM HST
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Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park would have a tough time fulfilling its mission if it wasn’t for the efforts from its corps of dedicated volunteers.

Last year, 651 park volunteers contributed 27,568 hours of their time helping the park in various ways. They worked in museum collections and archives, led hikes and answered countless visitor questions, monitored the backcountry, restored native forest, maintained trails, helped save native animals like honu‘ea (hawksbill turtles) and other endangered species, and more. Their invaluable effort is equal to 13.25 full-time equivalent employees working 40 hours a week, or $701,000.

On Jan. 22, the park and its nonprofit partners, the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, hosted a lunch and appreciation party for the volunteers. Volunteer coordinator Kūpono McDaniel told volunteers that the park could not fulfill its mission without their invaluable efforts.

“On behalf of the entire park, we are deeply humbled by all that you do,” McDaniel said. “When more than 600 people are willing to do my job for free, I am reminded how powerful and far-reaching our work really is. Volunteers are the true philanthropists, the people who give their most valuable commodity, their time, to ensure our parks are here for the next generation,” he said.

The mission of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is to protect, conserve, and study the volcanic landscapes and associated natural and cultural resources and processes, and to facilitate safe public access to active volcanism, diverse geographic settings, and wilderness for public education and enjoyment.

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Anyone interested in volunteering at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park can visit www.volunteer.gov/gov, or contact Kūpono McDaniel at 808-985-6015 or [email protected]

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