Level 1 students from Pavai’ai Elementary School visited our facility this morning to learn about their national park. A brief park introduction was shared to these students that somehow tickled their interest to hike the park.
Ranger Pai and Pua took these younglings around the visitor center as well and had an energetic activity which the kids enjoyed. Go forth and be stewards of this tropical island.
See more smiles from this group at our Facebook page.
Bright and early today, Park Rangers Pua, Pai, and Eymard took a ferry ride (one mile trip) to the island of ‘Aunu’u to visit elementary students from A.P. Lutali.
Ranger Pai conducted a Junior Ranger program for the Level 1 students. These younglings learned the natural resources we take care of not only within park boundaries but also around the island. Smart and innocent conversations from these kids that made Ranger Pai ran out of explanations. :)
While on the other area of the school, Ranger Pua talked about ocean acidification to level 5 to 7 students. A brief video was featured to summarize his discussions about the topic. To conclude and tie everything up, Ranger Pua concluded with an experiment and a board game that would instill conservation efforts for the students.
Both groups of students had a blast with a different approach of learning and understanding with their own little way to conserve, preserve, and protect the natural resources. Fa’afetai lava to Principal Asenati and the rest of the staff of AP Lutali Elementary School for your warm welcome and the hospitality.
See more photos on our Facebook page.
Yesterday, President Obama designated the Honouliuli Internment Camp on the island of Oahu in Hawaii as a national monument. According to a White House fact sheet, “This monument permanently protects a site where Japanese American citizens, resident immigrants, and prisoners of war were held captive during World War II. Located on the island of Oahu, the monument will help tell the difficult story of the internment camp’s impact on the Japanese American community and the fragility of civil rights during times of conflict. Honouliuli Internment Camp, located in a steep canyon not far from Pearl Harbor, opened in March, 1943 and was the largest and longest-used confinement site for Japanese and European Americans and resident immigrants in Hawaii, eventually holding 400 civilian internees and 4,000 prisoners of war. The camp was largely forgotten until uncovered in 2002, and the President’s designation will ensure its stories are told for generations.”
“At Honouliuli National Monument, we will share the stories of those who were unjustly held there during World War II as a reminder to the world about the importance of protecting civil liberties, even in times of national crisis.” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis
The following information was provided by the Monument’s official website (www.nps.gov/hono)
Honouliuli National Monument is located on land that, during World War II, served as the largest and longest-used confinement site for Japanese Americans, European Americans, and resident aliens in Hawai’i.
Run by the U.S. Army and opened in March 1943, Honouliuli was both a civilian internment camp and a prisoner of war camp with a population of approximately 400 internees and 4,000 prisoners of war over the course of its use. The 160 acre internment camp contained 175 buildings, 14 guard towers, and over 400 tents. Internees referred to Honouliuli as Jigoku-Dani (“Hell Valley”) because its secluded location in a deep gulch trapped heat and moisture and reinforced the internees’ sense of isolation and unjust imprisonment.
The majority of Honouliuli’s civilian internees were American citizens—predominantly Japanese Americans who were citizens by birth—suspected of disloyalty. They included community, business, and religious leaders. The remaining group comprised predominantly German Americans, though there were also Americans and aliens of Italian, Irish, Russian, and Scandinavian descent.
As a prisoner of war camp, Honouliuli held enemy soldiers and labor conscripts from Japan, Korea, Okinawa, Taiwan, and Italy. Honouliuli also held women and children who were Japanese civilians displaced from the Pacific. Honouliuli closed in 1946 and was soon forgotten as Americans celebrated the victories of World War II. Fast-growing vegetation quickly took over the site.
World War II Internment in Hawai’i
Early on December 7, 1941, as the Japanese military attacked Pearl Harbor and before martial law was invoked that afternoon, government officials began selectively rounding up Hawai’i residents suspected of disloyalty. They were imprisoned at local jails, courthouses, and facilities on six of the main Hawaiian Islands. Roughly 800 people were interned and eventually transported to the U.S. Immigration Station and the Sand Island Detention Camp on O’ahu in this early period. Nearly all the internees were of Japanese descent; they included influential leaders of the Japanese American community who were educated, were teachers or priests, or had access to means of communication with Japan or to transportation from Hawai’i. Most would be sent to the mainland to live out the duration of the war in Department of Justice and War Relocation Authority camps. The primary legal mechanism used to authorize internment in Hawai’i was martial law. During the period of martial law from December 7, 1941, to October 24, 1944, the U.S. Army issued hundreds of military orders, some of which were applicable only to persons of Japanese ancestry and enemy aliens. For example, people of Japanese ancestry were restricted from residing in certain areas of O’ahu and were forcibly removed from their properties. These types of discriminatory policies created an atmosphere of fear and suspicion.
While the government did consider mass incarceration in Hawai’i, it was deemed impractical. Hawai’i’s Japanese American citizenry and immigrant population was over one third of the territory’s total population, and their labor was needed to sustain the economy and the war effort in the islands.
By war’s end, approximately 2,000 people of Japanese ancestry from Hawai’i were interned. Despite the suspicion of disloyalty, none of the Japanese American internees from Hawai’i was ever found guilty of sabotage, espionage, or overt acts against the United States.
Honouliuli National Monument is a new national park unit without formal services and programs at this time. Access to Honouliuli National Monument is by reservation only. At present, there are no NPS facilities on site. In the coming months and years, you will see more visitor opportunities, interpretive and educational programs, and notices regarding the new monument. Honouliuli National Monument is managed by staff of the National Park Service Pacific West Region.
Earlier this week at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Park Ranger and Hawaiian scholar Noah Gomes demonstrated the art of ‘ohe kāpala (traditional Hawaiian bamboo stamping) at the Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai. Using wood paint paddle sticks and foam stickers, visitors of all ages had the opportunity to bring out their artistic side and create their own ‘ohe kāpala design. As visitors stamped their works of art on to canvas bags to take home, Ranger Noah explained the significance and history of this Hawaiian tradition, and answered questions about his knowledge of the Hawaiian archipelago.
Ranger Noah is a graduate student in Hawaiian Language and Literature at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo and holds a Bachelors of Arts in Hawaiian Language. Originally from Wahiawā, Oʻahu, he now resides in Hilo. Noah has been a lifelong student of Hawaiian natural history and is currently researching the ancient bird hunters of the Hawaiian archipelago. ‘Ohe kapala is a skill he learned from his university education and through personal interest.
Make an executive decision to visit a national park this Presidents Day weekend. All fee-charging national parks will offer free admission from February 14 through 16, including Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
The National Park Service will also waive admission fees on five additional days in 2015 – April 18 and 19 (the first weekend of National Park Week), August 25 (the National Park Service’s 99th birthday), September 26 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day).
An additional fee-free weekend will be offered at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park May 15-16 for the BioBlitz and Biodiversity & Cultural Festival. During this two-day event, hosted by National Geographic and the National Park Service, teams of scientists, Hawaiian cultural practitioners, students and the public will join forces to discover, document and celebrate the biodiversity and culture of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
Hawai‘i Volcanoes 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 on the NPS fee-free 2015 dates. Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, and the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail do not charge entrance fees.
This Mahalo Monday goes out to the 40 volunteers who participated this weekend in the “Stewardship at the Summit” program at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Project leaders Jane and Paul Field, in partnership with the park’s Natural Resources Management division, have been leading volunteers once a week to the Kīlauea Iki Trail quadrangle, Halema‘uma‘u Trail, and Kīlauea Summit areas, determined to protect the rainforest and remove invasive Himalayan ginger and other non-native plants.
The goal of the project is to increase visibility of the natural landscape and to assist in the effectiveness of native rainforest rehabilitation. The process of eliminating the invasive species is systematic and ongoing, with cutting of plants and herbicide applications occurring about once every year in each given area. “The ginger will be here for a long time, and we plan to work on it for a long time,” said volunteer and project manager Jane Field.
Because of the sweat and dedication of volunteers, once-shaded ‘ama‘u and hāpu‘u tree ferns have re-emerged, and pa‘iniu, kāwa‘u, and other important native plants are returning to the stewardship plots.
Interested in lending a hand?
“Stewardship at the Summit” begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon. The dates from now through March are: February 11, 20 and 28; and March 6, 14, 21, and 27.
Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center at 9 a.m. on any of the above dates. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, raingear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. No advance registration is required, and there is no cost to participate, but park entrance fees apply.