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Contact: Jessica Ferracane, 808-985-6018The National Park Service (NPS) celebrates its 98th birthday on Monday, August 25, Founder’s Day, and entrance is free to all fee-charging national parks in America, including Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park was also established 98 years ago, on August 1, 1916. Called Hawai‘i National Park then, the park also comprised Haleakalā National Park on Maui. In 1961, Haleakalā became its own national park – and Hawai‘i Volcanoes has since grown to more than 333,000 acres, roughly the size of O‘ahu.
Today, with more than 150 miles of hiking trails, and 520 square miles that stretch from sea level to the 13,677-foot summit of Mauna Loa, there are endless opportunities to enjoy Hawai‘i’s natural and native splendor in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
“We invite everyone to come and help us celebrate another milestone as we approach our 100th anniversary in 2016,” said Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We can all be proud of our legacy in being the first country in the world to protect and set aside so many special places so that they can be enjoyed by all,” she said.
A schedule of free ranger-led programs and guided hikes is posted daily outside Kīlauea Visitor Center and the Jaggar Museum by 9:30 a.m. Visitors can enjoy programs including Explore the Summit – a one-hour walk from the Kīlauea Visitor Center to the edge of Kīlauea caldera, and Life on the Edge, a 20-minute talk about the current eruption from Halema‘uma‘u Crater given daily at Jaggar Museum overlook.
Two other fee-charging parks in Hawai‘i – Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park and Haleakalā National Park on Maui – will also waive entrance fees on August 25.
Visitors can enjoy more free-entry days in 2014: Saturday, September 27 is National Public Lands Day, the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States; and Tuesday, November 11, is also free, to honor Veterans Day.