Kahuku Junior Ranger Day. Keiki of all ages are invited to join park rangers and explore the park’s southernmost section of Kahuku, in Ka‘ū. Connect the culture, people, and ‘āina through ‘oli, GPS, and compass on a short and easy walk. Ka‘ohu Monfort shares her knowledge and love of the island’s native medicinal plants and how they are used to heal and nourish. Bring a refillable water bottle, sunscreen, hat, long pants, jacket and closed-toe shoes. At least one adult must accompany the children. The event and lunch are free, but registration is required. Call (808) 985-6019 by Nov. 15. Co-sponsored by Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center.
When: Sat., Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: The Kahuku Unit is located on the mauka (uphill) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5. Meet near the parking area.
FROM VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Hawaii National Park, HI – Visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park now through April could get lucky and spot pairs of the endemic Hawaiian goose, or nēnē, flying overhead or grazing with goslings.
While nēnē are present in the park year-round, this seasonal window is their breeding and nesting time, and is vital for their survival.
Currently, female nēnē are focused on building up their fat reserves in order to lay eggs and survive the 30-day incubation period. A few females have already started to nest in the park, and their mates are dutifully standing guard. Because visitors can unknowingly disturb nesting nēnē, the park may temporarily close certain areas to give nēnē families a break from human interference.
“Nēnē are most vulnerable to vehicles this time of year. They are focused on eating and could be out foraging from dawn to dusk. They blend in with their surroundings, and in low-light periods, they are especially hard for motorists to spot,” said Kathleen Misajon, Nēnē Recovery Project manager.
The park has posted nēnē crossing signs that highlight key roadside areas that nēnē use. These include sections of Highway 11, Crater Rim Drive, and Chain of Craters Road. Motorists are urged to use extra caution in signed nēnē crossing areas, and to obey posted speed limits.
Nēnē are endangered, and in the mid-1940s, only 50 birds remained. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park began efforts to recover the species in the 1970s. The Nēnē Recovery Program continues today, and more than 200 birds thrive in the park from sea level to around 8,000 feet. As many as 2,000 or more nēnē exist statewide.
“We’ve had a great deal of success protecting nēnē and maintaining the population in the park,” said Misajon. “But it is imperative that humans keep a respectful distance from the geese, especially during this sensitive time.”
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park joins national parks across the country in waiving entrance fees all three days of the upcoming Veteran’s Day weekend, Nov. 9-11, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
“Our nation’s veterans have sacrificed much to protect our freedom,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “To honor the selfless service of our veterans, we invite everyone to experience the American heritage by visiting their national parks at no charge this Veteran’s Day Weekend.”
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, which has dozens of veterans among its employees and volunteers, is open 24 hours a day, every day. The park offers more than 150 miles of hiking trails and many opportunities to appreciate the volcanic landscape, the pristine native environment and the Hawaiian culture that define this World Heritage Site. More than a dozen free interpretive programs are offered daily, and special events, including ‘Ike Hana No‘eau cultural workshops, After Dark in the Park presentations, hula kahiko performances, and Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” concerts, are ongoing. Check www.nps.gov/havo for information for all events.
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is one of five national park units on the island of Hawai‘i. Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park is also free of charge Veteran’s Day weekend. There is no admission charged for Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, or the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.
Information on special offerings at parks nationwide is available at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.
It's a lovely quiet Sunday here in Hawaii at Ohia House Bed and Breakfast. The guest's have gone off for a day of exploring, my basket of fresh fruit from the Farmer's Market put away. Maybe time for a swim!