Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Stewardship, solar eclipse, sustainability on tap in December

  • Learn to make a pulumi ni‘au, or coconut broom, on Dec. 27.

    National Park Service

  • Ken Makuakane

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the public throughout 2017. In addition, the community is invited to lend a hand to save native rain forest through the park’s Stewardship at the Summit volunteer program.

After Dark and Hawaiian cultural programs are free, but entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Hawaii Pacific Parks Association.


Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is open 24 hours a day. The park offers 155 miles of hiking trails, Kilauea Visitor Center and Jaggar Museum, plus many opportunities to appreciate the volcanic landscape, native ecosystem and Hawaiian culture that define this World Heritage Site.

Events that occur at facilities within the park, including the Volcano Art Center Gallery, Volcano House and Kilauea Military Camp, also are subject to park entrance fees.

Mark the calendar for these upcoming events in December that preserve the history and culture of Hawaii:

Stewardship at the Summit

Volunteers are needed to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, 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. Visit the park website for additional planning details at www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.

When: 8:45 a.m. Dec. 1, 7, 15, 23 and 30

Where: Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kilauea Visitor Center at 8:45 a.m. on any of the above dates.

Cascade Volcanoes Beneath a Solar Eclipse

Learn about the volcanoes of the Cascade Range in Washington and Oregon, how often they erupt and why their eruptions can be more dangerous than eruptions in Hawaii. Park Rangers Michael Newman and Jay Robinson visited these majestic mountains during the total solar eclipse and found adventures around every corner. Part of Hawaii Volcanoes’ After Dark in the Park series. Free.

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 5

Where: Kilauea Visitor Center auditorium

Pacific Islands as Models for Culture, Agriculture and Sustainability

Peter Vitousek, Ph.D., looks to Hawaii and other Polynesian islands as models for living more sustainably. Vitousek will share his discoveries on how the innovative agricultural systems of pre-contact Hawaii connect to Pacific societies in the past, present and future. Part of Hawaii Volcanoes’ After Dark in the Park series. Free.

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 12

Where: Kilauea Visitor Center auditorium

La‘au Lapa‘au

Hawaiian herbal medicine practitioner Ka‘ohu Monfort demonstrates the power of native plants to nourish and heal. See and touch a variety of traditional medicinal plants, including kukui, noni, ki, ‘olena and more. Part of Hawaii Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau (Experience the Skillful Work) workshops. Free.

When: 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 13

Where: Kilauea Visitor Center lanai

Ken Makuakane Performs

Enjoy the melodies of award-winning musical artist Ken Makuakane. His accolades include 15 Na Hoku Hanohano awards, the Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award and six Big Island Music awards. A prolific songwriter, Makuakane’s compositions have been recorded by many artists including the Brothers Cazimero, Na Leo Pilimehana and others. Part of Hawaii Volcanoes’ ongoing Na Leo Manu (Heavenly Voices) presentations. Free.

When: 6:30-8 p.m. Dec. 20

Where: Kilauea Visitor Center auditorium

Pulumi Ni‘au Demonstration

The pulumi ni‘au (coconut broom) is a tool widely used in the Pacific. The coconut tree has myriad uses and is considered a “tree of life” by many cultures. In Hawaii, the importance of the coconut can be seen in the legend of Niuolahiki, whose name means “coconut of long life.” Part of Hawaii Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau (Experience the Skillful Work) workshops. Free.


When: 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 27

Where: Kilauea Visitor Center lanai