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Volunteers invited to kokua ohia forest on May 16

The Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will host a volunteer forest restoration project from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, May 16, and volunteers are invited to sign up.

“This month we will be removing invasive, non-native faya plants in an area of cindery soil. Most of the faya will be ones that have grown since we worked in the area two years ago,” said coordinator Patty Kupchak. “Many faya will be seedlings that pull easily; a few are maturing trees that we will cut with handsaws.

“This is a wonderful ohia forest with a nice variety of native under-story plants. We’ll also learn about the park’s native forest restoration and invasive plant control programs.”

Volunteers should be at least 12 years old, and be able to hike at least one mile over uneven terrain through brush in an area with a moderate slope. Sturdy walking shoes and long pants are required, along with gear for variable weather conditions (be prepared for sun or rain with a hat, raincoat, sunscreen, etc.) plus drinking water and a snack.

“In addition, imperative is scrubbing the soles of one’s shoes prior to arrival on site, in order to ensure outside dirt and invasive species seeds aren’t tracked in,” said Kupchak.

Goal is a crew of 16 people, and pre-registration is required. All participants will need to sign a Friends release form and a park volunteer form. For those under 18, an adult will need to co-sign.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact Kupchak at or call 985-7373 by today.

“Please include your first and last name, email address, and a phone number where we can reach you at the last minute in case of cancellation,” she said.


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