Saturday, September 22, 2012

Free Entry to Hawai‘i Volcanoes

Hawaii National Park, Hawai‘i – Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park joins all 397 national parks in waiving entrance fees in recognition of National Public Lands Day on Sat., Sept. 29. The annual event is the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States. The park offers several special programs on Sept. 29 to celebrate the day, including two volunteer projects, and a guided hike of a new trail in Kahuku: Save Halema‘uma‘u Trail. Join park rangers and remove invasive kâhili ginger from one of the park’s most historic and treasured scenic trails, Halema‘uma‘u Trail, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meet at Kīlauea Visitor Center, and wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, raingear, garden gloves and tools, a day pack, lunch and water. No advance registration required. Kīpuka ‘Akihi, an adventure in stewardship, is offered in the park’s Kahuku section, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants must be able to hike a challenging 1.5 miles and be prepared to scramble over fallen trees, lava rock, and slippery, wet terrain. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, long pants, sunscreen and a hat. Bring raingear, garden gloves, a day pack, insect repellent, lunch and water. This forest stewardship program provides opportunities to help protect this rainforest by pulling up invasive kâhili ginger and other invasive non-native plants throughout the kīpuka, which harbors rare plants and wildlife. No advance registration required. A guided hike of Kahuku’s new Palm Trail is also offered Sept. 29, a relatively easy 2.6 mile loop traversing through scenic pasture along an ancient cinder cone with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. The guided hike is from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Park and meet at the visitor contact tent, near the ranch buildings. Boots, raingear, long pants plus water and a snack are recommended. No advance registration required. Kahuku is located on the mauka side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5. Drive through the gate, park and meet at the visitor contact tent, near the ranch buildings. Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will also offer a forest restoration project Sept. 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and are seeking volunteers. Advance registration is required. For more information, contact forest@fhvnp.org or call (808) 352-1402.

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