HVNP Celebrates National Public Lands Day

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will offer free entrance and two opportunities to help protect Hawai‘i this Saturday, National Public Lands Day, September 30, by removing invasive plant species in the park and in the Ocean View community.

In honor of National Public Lands Day, the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is offering the Stewardship at the Summit program from 9 a.m. to noonMeet volunteers Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center​ at 8:45 a.m.​, then head into the forest to remove Himalayan ginger from the summit of Kīlauea. Himalayan ginger is one of the most invasive plants in the park, and on earth. It is listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as one of the 100 World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species. The park strives to protect the rainforest habitat of native birds and plants, but Himalayan ginger takes over the native rainforest understory, making it impossible for the next generation of forest to grow, and it crowds out many native plants, including pa‘iniu (a Hawaiian lily), ‘ama‘u fern, and others. Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, sunscreen, rain gear, snacks, and water. Loppers/gloves provided.  No advance registration required.

Volunteers for Stewardship at the Summit on Saturday will receive a free park pass to use on another date of their choosing.

In Ocean View, volunteers are needed to remove invasive fountain grass from roadsides in Hawaiian Ocean View Estates (HOVE). Meet at the Ocean View Community Center on Sat., Sept. 30 at 9 a.m.; bring lunch, water, a hat and sun protection. This noxious weed increases the risk of wildfire. In 2005, fountain grass was responsible for a 25,000-acre fire that forced evacuation of Waikoloa Village. Contact Park Ecologist David Benitez at (808) 985-6085 or email him at david_benitez@nps.gov for more information about this project.

Every year on National Public Lands Day (NPLD), all fee-charging national parks offer free entry. Many parks and public lands across the nation organize stewardship projects and special programs on NPLD to raise awareness about why it is important to protect our public lands.