Mahalo Monday: “Stewardship at the Summit” Volunteers
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.
The author is a Student Conservation Association/AmeriCorps intern working with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the park’s centennial initiatives.