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Contact: Jessica Ferracane, 808-985-6018Help ensure the future of the Hawaiian rainforest at the summit of Kīlauea volcano for the next 100 years by volunteering for “Stewardship at the Summit” programs in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, now through June 2016.
Stewardship at the Summit begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon. The dates January through June are: January 2, 8, 15, 23, and 30; February 5, 13, 20 and 24; March 2, 11, 19 and 26; April 1, 9, 15, 22 and 30; May 6, 14, 18, and 28; and June 3, 11, 17, and 22.
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.
To commemorate the park’s 100th anniversary in 2016, a special centennial After Dark in the Park program titled “What Makes a Species Invasive” is scheduled Tues., April 26 at the Kīlauea Visitor Center at 7 p.m. The event is free, but park entrance fees apply.
“Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park marks its 100th birthday in 2016, and we encourage all who care about our public lands to lend a hand in making sure its natural and native beauty is around for future generations to enjoy,” said project leader and volunteer Paul Field. “It’s fun and fairly easy work. We have people 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).