The Nature Conservancy’s Kamakou Preserve is located in the mountains of East Molokai. The work usually involves the removal of alien plant species encroaching into the preserve or a beach clean-up. Accommodations are at a wooden barracks-style building with electricity, kitchen, hot showers, a flush toilet, and metal frame beds. The barracks are at an elevation of 2,200 feet and the work projects may be at a higher elevation, so warm clothes and raingear are needed. Free time activities may include a hike through a pristine rain forest at Pepeopae Bog or a visit to the sand dune ecosystem at Moomomi Beach.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manage this refuge. They are creating makai-mauka corridors of native vegetation across open pasture lands which native forest birds can use in their migrations up and down the slopes of Mauna Kea. The service projects usually involve planting native species such as koa or working in the greenhouse. Accommodations are at a well-equipped cabin at the 6,200-foot elevation with electricity, running water, a flush toilet, a hot shower, kitchen, and bunk beds with mattresses. Participants will need to bring their own sleeping bags. At this high elevation, cold wet weather is always possible, so warm clothing and footwear and good quality raingear are necessary. Raingear can be borrowed from the Refuge. The free time activity may include a hike in a koa-ohia forest to observe native forest birds, some of which are on the endangered species list.
This service project is located within the Kokee State Park. The work will probably involve the removal of invasive alien plants threatening the rare native ecosystem. The facilities are at the historic 1935 CCC camp buildings with electricity, bunk beds, indoor toilets and hot showers. Since the site is at 3,500 to 4,000 feet in elevation, warm clothes and good raingear are essential. Free time activities may include hiking on one of the many great trails in the park.
The garden is located on Kauai’s north shore near Haena and extends over 1,000 acres of tropical valley covering three distinct ecological zones. The garden is an educational and research facility with extensive plantings of native Hawaiian plants. Ongoing programs in watershed protection and studies in plant and animal stream life are conducted at this site. The work will probably involve removal of invasive exotic plants and replanting the area with native plants. The facilities are in a modern house with electricity, a full kitchen, bunk beds or futons for sleeping, bathroom facilities and hot showers. Free time activities may include walking on the nearby Haena Beach and hiking on nearby trails.
Manuka contains one of the few relatively undisturbed ancient native lowland forests in Hawaii. The work may include clearing alien weeds from a 150-acre kipuka on the slopes of Mauna Loa. We will stay in a three-bedroom cabin at 1,600 feet elevation at Kiolakaa with hot showers, flush toilet, a kitchen with a gas range, but no electricity. There is bed space for five, floor space for several more and plenty of tent space on the lawn. Free time activities may include hiking or bird watching.
This refuge is at a beautiful, windswept setting on the northernmost tip of the island of Kauai. The service project usually involves the removal of alien plants and the planting of native coastal vegetation that the numerous seabirds on the refuge use to build their nests. Seabirds, whales, Hawaiian monk seals, turtles and dolphins are common sights while working. Accommodations are on the lower level of the Visitor Center on the Refuge property. Amenities include electricity, a full kitchen, folding cots for sleeping, bathroom facilities and a hot shower. Free time activities may include hiking on the refuge or on nearby trails. (Note: We are not working on this project at this time)
The Nene o Molokai Foundation is in the process of acquiring wetland property for bird habitat. The work may include clearing weeds and brush and the planting of native Hawaiian species for a nene goose habitat. Accommodations are at a beach house with hot showers, a full kitchen, bathroom facilities, and a beautiful ocean front lawn. Tenting on the lawn is required. Free time activities may include guided historic tours of the region and wetland bird habitats and visiting “downtown” Kaunakakai.
Located on Kalaupapa Peninsula at the base of 1,600-foot high sea cliffs, this national historical park was once the site of total isolation for the victims of Hansen’s Disease. This national park includes the settlement of Kalaupapa, the archaeological remains of the settlement of Kalawao, a volcanic crater, the Kalaupapa Lighthouse and acres of open land. Accommodations will include small bedrooms with twin beds for three people each, indoor bathrooms, hot showers and kitchen and dining facilities. The work will be determined at a later date. Free time activities may include a tour of the peninsula. There are areas of Kalaupapa that are off-limits to the volunteers unless accompanied by a staff member.
Puu Makaala and Other Natural Area Reserves, Big Island
This is our newest service project! Puu Makaala is located on the eastern flank of Mauna Loa near Volcano Village and protects wet ohia and koa forests and a wet mountain grassland ecosystem. The reserve is home to many rare plants and animals. We may also work in other Natural Area Reserves located on the eastern side of the Big Island. All of the Reserves are beautiful and special. We will stay in a recently renovated house located at the State Baseyard in Hilo with electricity, hot showers, fully equipped kitchen, and new bunk beds with mattresses. We may go hiking on our free day.
(Sorry, no photos yet.)