Volunteers needed for Mālama Maunakea invasive species weed pull
The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s Center for Maunakea Stewardship is looking for volunteers for its Mālama Maunakea Volunteer Invasive Species Weed Pull on March 18.
The deadline to sign up is March 9.
The weed pull project will begin at 9 a.m. at the Maunakea Visitor Information Station. It is expected to wrap up at about 2 p.m.
Volunteers are encouraged to bring:
- Water in a reusable container
- Sun protection (sunglasses, sunscreen, hat)
- Layers to protect from wind or wet and cool weather (light rain gear, warm clothing long-sleeve shirt)
- Hiking boots or good walking shoes
- Long pants
- Garden or work gloves that are clean and free of invasive species
Since 2012, the Mālama Maunakea Volunteer Weed Pulls are part of the Center for Maunakea Stewardship’s ongoing Mālama Maunakea efforts to protect the resources on the mountain by helping to control fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) and other invasive plant species around Maunakea’s 9,000′ elevation.
The Mālama Maunakea campaign connects community volunteers to help in resource management and stewardship of the Maunakea Science Reserve and mid-level support facilities at Halepōhaku.
Since its launch, there have been 60 separate weed pulls with more than 1,500 community volunteers donating 10,000 hours. They have pulled 2,400 garbage bags of weeds. More than 300 native plants also have been planted near Halepōhaku.
Removing invasive species and weeds helps to reduce habitat for invasive ants, prevents unwanted invasive species from being transported to the upper elevation areas of Maunakea, and prepares the surrounding area for future native plant restoration projects.
In February, the Center for Maunakea Stewardship restarted the campaign after pausing for the pandemic with 14 volunteers and 3 staff members pulling 440 pounds of invasive weeds. Thre also will be another weed pull on April 22 as part of an extended Earth Day Celebration.