Department of Parks and Recreation Receives $50,000 State Grant to Control Little Fire Ants

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation has received a $50,000 grant from the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority to control little fire ants at specific park sites.

Little Fire Ant – Queen and worker ant

Little Fire Ant – Queen and worker ant

The Department of Parks and Recreation is one of four Hawai‘i Island organizations selected by the HTA for a grant award under its 2015 Natural Resources Program. Funding will be used to pay the Department’s three-person team of little fire ant control technicians, purchase bait and subsidize other expenses related to the ongoing treatment program.

To meet the grant terms of improving both the visitor experience and resident enjoyment of Hawai‘i’s natural resources, treatment efforts will be conducted at Richardson Ocean Park, Lili‘uokalani Gardens and the Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens through December 2015. The free sites are popular with visitors and residents.

Little fire ants are considered to be one of the world’s worst invasive species. They inflict painful stings that can cause welts in humans and blind animals.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, which administers the grant program, for supporting its efforts to control little fire ants in the public’s parks. Treatment efforts are ongoing at 28 County recreational sites and facilities found to have the highest concentrations of little fire ants.

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