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Friends of Volcanoes National Park offering hikes, behind-the-scenes look at rare species



Hawaii_Volcanoes_National_Park_hike_wildlifeThis month, the Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s events lineup includes a hike through 1970s lava-flow areas with a geologist guide and a special field seminar at the park’s nursery, herbarium and the bird and wildlife collection (which isn’t open to the general public).

Hiking Pu’u Huluhulu, the latest installment of nonprofit group’s “Sunday Walk in the Park” program, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sun., Feb. 10. The program features monthly (second Sunday) guided hikes on Hawaii Volcanoes National Park trails.

Geologist Cheryl Gansecki will lead this month’s two-hour, three-mile round-trip hike will be to Pu’u Huluhulu. The trail crosses 1973 and 1974 lava flows, through kipuka, past lava trees, and climbs 150 feet to the summit of Pu’u Huluhulu. On a clear day you can see Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, Pu’u ‘O’o, and the Pacific Ocean. The fairly flat trail will take hikers to slow-moving pahoehoe lava at an elevation of 3,200 feet.

The Sunday Walk in the Park program is free for Friends members. Non-members are welcome to join the non-profit organization in order to attend. Annual memberships are $30 for individuals and $45 for families, and come with a variety of benefits. For more information, click here.

Behind the Scenes, a special field seminar in the park’s nursery, herbarium and the bird and wildlife collection, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sat. Feb. 23.
A presentation by Rhonda Loh, Chief of Natural Resources Management at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and her staff will include a tour of the park’s rare plant propagation facility, where participants will see some of the planet’s rarest species.Hawaii_Volcanoes_National_Park_hike_wildlife

Hawaii Volcanoes — a World Heritage site — endeavors to protect a wide diversity of ecosystems and habitat for native Hawaiian plants and animals. Despite their protected status, native species face threats ranging from invasive plants and introduced animals to wildfires.

The field seminar also offers an opportunity to check out the park’s research collection of botanical and zoological specimens. Botanist Linda Pratt and wildlife biologist Thane Pratt will lead that “mini museum” tour, which includes nearly all species of plants and birds known to live, or to have once lived, in the park.

For additional information about Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which provides the park with volunteer support and stewardship aimed at enhancing visitor educational and interpretive experiences, click here. Click here for more information about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The program’s cost: $25 for Friends members and $35 for non-members. Non-members are welcome to join the Friends in order to get the member discount. Proceeds support the Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park educational programs.


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Photos: (top) endangered hibiscus, (bottom) planting trees at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park — both photos, National Park Service

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