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Contact: Jessica Ferracane, 808-985-6018
Hawaii National Park, Hawai'i - Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park has launched a new "Stewardship at the Summit" volunteer project to restore native Hawaiian forest surrounding one of the park's most historic and beloved trails, Halema'uma'u Trail.
The dates and times for March are Thurs., Mar. 7 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Fri., Mar. 15 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; and Sat., Mar. 23 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Meet Stewardship at the Summit project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, raingear, garden gloves, day pack, snacks and water. Tools will be provided. No advance registration is required, and there is no cost to participate, but park entrance fees apply.
The Fields, who are volunteers, have removed countless Himalayan ginger, faya, strawberry guava, and other invasive non-native plants that threaten the native understory alongside Halema'uma'u Trail.
"It is an inspiring and heartwarming sight to see once-shaded 'ama'u and hāpu'u tree ferns emerge, and the seed banks of pa'iniu, kāwa'u, and other vital, native plants return to the rainforest on this beautiful trail," said Park Ranger Adrian Boone. "We truly appreciate the selfless, valuable efforts the Fields and all volunteers make on behalf of the national park," he said.
Halema'uma'u Trail has been used since 1864, when guests at the newly established Volcano House hotel used it to hike into Kīlauea Caldera. A section leading across the caldera floor to Halema'uma'u Crater is closed, but much of the trail remains open and it is one of the park's most treasured hikes for visitors and residents alike.