Volunteers Sought for Stewardship at the Summit
Contact: Jessica Ferracane, 808-985-6018
Protect the Hawaiian ecosystem from invasive, non-native plant species by volunteering for “Stewardship at the Summit” programs in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
Stewardship at the Summit begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon. The dates from April through June are: April 5, 12, 18, 23 and 30; May 9, 17, 23, and 30; and June 6, 13, 20, and 27.
Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field 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.
“We welcome first-time visitors, repeat volunteers, and residents alike. It’s always a fun and rewarding way to spend a few hours” said volunteer project leader Paul Field. “We supply the tools, you supply the energy to help keep the beautiful Hawaiian rainforest intact and thriving,” he said.
Within the last year, volunteers have restored more than 15 acres of native rainforest within the national park. 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.
Did You Know?
`Ohelo (Vaccinium reticulatum) is a relative of blueberries and a favorite food of nene, the Hawaiian Goose. Its berries range from dark red to pale yellow when ripe and are sacred to Pele, the volcano deity.