Resolve to protect Hawaii’s fragile ecosystem from invasive, non-native species by volunteering for Stewardship at the Summit programs throughout 2014.
Stewardship at the Summit work days begin 9 a.m. and end at noon. The dates from January through March are: Jan. 10, 20, 18 and 24; Feb. 1, 7, 14, 21 and 28; and March 7, 14, 22 and 26.
Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at 9 a.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center on any of the above dates. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, 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.
There will be no park entrance fee Monday, Jan. 20, however. The park will observe Martin Luther King Day by participating in the National Day of Service with a special Stewardship at the Summit program 9 a.m.-noon.
Park volunteers have restored more than 5 acres of native Hawaiian rain forest since reinvigorating the program last year, said volunteer Paul Field. Countless Himalayan ginger, faya, strawberry guava and other invasive, non-native plants that threaten the native understory near the summit of Kilauea volcano have been removed. In their place, once-shaded amau and hapuu tree ferns re-emerged, and painiu, kawau and other vital, native plants are starting to return to these stewardship plots.
“There is no way we could be making these gains against the invasives without our community,” said Kupono McDaniel, volunteer coordinator at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. “It is so fun to see everyone out there having a good time meeting new friends and making a very noticeable difference on the ground.
“These amazing philanthropists understand that time spent serving their public lands is a service to all.”