Help ensure the future of the Hawaiian rainforest at the summit of Kīlauea volcano for the next 100 years and volunteer for “Stewardship at the Summit” programs in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, now through September 2016.
Stewardship at the Summit begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon. The dates July through September are: July 9, 13, 23, and 29; August 5, 13, and 19; and September 2, 10, 14, 24 (National Public Lands Day) and 30.
Volunteers help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing. Meet at Kīlauea Visitor Center at 9 a.m. on any of the above dates. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, raingear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. No advance registration is required, and there is no cost to participate, but park entrance fees apply.
Park entrance will be free on National Public Lands Day, Sept. 24, 2016, and volunteers on this day will receive a pass to return and enjoy the park fee-free on another day of their choosing.
“Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park enters its second century this year, and we encourage everyone to lend a hand to protect the park’s native ecosystems to ensure their survival, and for future generations to enjoy,” said project leader and volunteer Paul Field. “It’s fun and fairly easy work. We have volunteers who range in age from eight to over 80 helping out,” he said.
Volunteers have dedicated more than 5,000 hours of their time, and have restored more than 35 acres of native rainforest within the national park since 2012. Countless Himalayan ginger, faya, strawberry guava, and other invasive, non-native plants that threaten the native understory near the summit of Kīlauea volcano have been removed. In their place, once-shaded ‘ama‘u and hāpu‘u tree ferns have re-emerged, and pa‘iniu, kāwa‘u, and other important native plants are returning to the stewardship plots.
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park celebrates its 100th birthday in 2016. The park provides numerous ways for visitors to connect with and appreciate Hawaiian culture, active volcanoes, and native plants and animals. It is a designated World Heritage Site (1987) and International Biosphere Reserve (1980).