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Contact: Polly Angelakis, 808-572-4450
Entrance fees continue to be waived during National Park Week, April 16-24. To celebrate the Centennials of both the National Park Service and Haleakalā NP, special Junior Ranger programs will be offered on this Saturday, April 23. Programs include talks, walks, cultural demonstrations, and a "Talk Story" with former Civilian Conservation Corp member, "Uncle Rex" Ornellas, who also turns 100 this year.
Headquarters Visitor Center, 10am-12pm: "Talk Story with Uncle Rex"
During the 1930's Great Depression, President Roosevelt formed the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in order to employ young men. Known as "Roosevelt's Tree Army," the CCC employed almost 3 million men, planted over 3 billion trees, and conserved 800 natural areas nationwide during its nine-year history. At Haleakalā, crews planted native species, removed exotic species, and built the cabins and trails still used today.
Alvin "Uncle Rex" Ornellas worked on the first crew stationed at Haleakalā in 1934.Join Uncle Rex at the Headquarters Visitor Center (at 7000 feet of elevation) from 10am-12pm, ask him what life was like as a "CCC boy," and wish him a Happy Birthday! Numerous current-day youth conservation groups were inspired by the CCC so young people are especially encouraged to participate and bring their questions. To commemorate the CCC's legacy, some keiki will plant silverswords with Uncle Rex.In addition,the 6th grade chorus from Seabury Hall will sing "We Can Plant a Forest" by Jim Papouis and Mike Greenly.
Kīpahulu Visitor Center, 1pm-3pm: Hana No`eau (Honoring Native Hawaiian Traditions)
From 1pm-3pm in the Kīpahulu district (a one-hour drive past Hana) park staff and partners will teach and share weaving, poi pounding, and other cultural practices.
"Junior Ranger Day is a fitting time to share with young people the natural and cultural legacies passed down to us from previous generations, especially during our Centennial," said Chief of Interpretation Polly Angelakis. "It is always a gift when today's keiki directly learn from the wisdom and experiences of kupuna."
Other events include walks, talks, and short volunteer activities. Activity times and locations will be posted at all visitor centers.
National Park Week is a great opportunity to explore the countless ways there are to #FindYourPark and to celebrate #HaleakalaNP100. Visit www.nps.gov/hale/getinvolved/celebrate-our-centennial-the-100th-anniversary-of-haleakala-national-park.htm to learn more other Centennial events taking place in 2016.