Volcano Rain Forest Tours to Begin

Are you looking for an informative weekend activity aimed at revealing the splendors of Hawaii’s rare natural resources? Volcano Art Center (VAC) announces the addition of Saturday Ni‘aulani Rain Forest guided tours beginning May 19, 2012, from 11 am to noon at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road in Volcano Village.

A visiting nature enthusiast strolls along the Ni‘aulani Nature Trail, examining a natural arbor formed by fallen and merged endemic Hawaiian tree ferns

These new Saturday tours are formatted the same as the Monday Ni‘aulani Nature Walk, running strong since 2006. The weekend option is geared toward better accommodating residents’ schedules and visitors driving from the leeward side of the island. The 1/7-mile Ni‘aulani Nature Trail is an easy stroll. Bring your rain jacket, as mist is characteristic in the area. No reservations are required, but are requested for groups of five or more people.

Attendees learn of the historic importance of the Ni‘aulani Rain Forest, designated a Forest Reserve in the 1920’s in order to protect the rare old-growth native tree canopy. Volunteer guides help visitors understand the basics of Hawaiian rain forest ecology as well as the evolution and traditional uses of native plants and animals within them. Also shared are VAC-led efforts in successfully bolstering the biodiversity of Ni‘aulani, marking the unique setting as a tangible example of native forest restoration.

Come and see why VAC received the 2011 Betty Crocker Landscape Award, and why the Ni‘aulani Rain Forest now has a Warrior Marker signifying it as a place of significant scenic importance in the state of Hawai‘i.

These walks are a part of a collection of programs which help perpetuate the Ni‘aulani Rain Forest and are funded in part by Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Natural Resources Program and a restoration grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. If you need more information, please contact Volcano Art Center at 967-8222 or programs@volcanoartcenter.org.