HVNP programs continue at alternate sites

  • NPS photo Learn about native plants and their significance in Hawaiian culture during a 2-mile hike from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday in the Kahuku Unit.

Everyone is invited to find their park and experience authentic Hawaiian cultural programs, guided hikes and more from Ka‘u to Volcano to Hilo.

While Kilauea continues to shake the ground and blast ash from its ever-changing summit crater — causing the partial closure of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on May 11 — park rangers continue to enlighten and engage visitors from other locations. Rangers offer new and familiar programs at the park’s Kahuku Unit, Mokupapapa Discovery Center in Hilo, the Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village and other locations — free of charge.

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Rangers are on duty at Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo, alongside our nonprofit partners, the Hawaii Pacific Parks Association, at its brand new mall store.

Join the national park at any of the following locations, and take advantage of these upcoming park programs now through Sunday:

• The Kahuku Unit of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is located on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5 in Ka‘u, about a 50-minute drive south of the park’s main entrance. Sturdy footwear, water, rain gear, sun protection and a snack are recommended for all hikes.

Entrance and all programs are free.

Kahuku is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Purchase the NPS Passport Book from the Hawaii Pacific Parks Association store and get your special Kahuku Unit cancellation stamp.

• The 20-minute Kahuku Orientation Talks introduce natural, cultural and historic attributes of Kahuku to the first-time or been-awhile visitor, and rangers also share the latest Kilauea eruption updates. Orientation talks are at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 10:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Meet at the Visitor Contact Station.

• Delve into authentic Hawaiian cultural practices via ‘Ike Hana No‘eau (Experience the Skillful Work) hourlong programs at 12:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in Kahuku. On Saturday and Sunday, park rangers and staff from Hawaii Pacific Parks Association will share their knowledge and passion for native Hawaiian games that test one’s strength and agility.

Realms and Divisions of Kahuku: Experience the intersection of nature and culture on this moderately difficult 2-mile, two-hour guided hike on Pu‘u Kahuku Trail. Explore the realms and divisions of the traditional Hawaiian classification system at Kahuku. Bring a snack for the talk-story segment of this hike. Offered from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Nature and Culture — An Unseverable Relationship (He Pilina Wehena ‘Ole): Hike the Palm Trail and be inspired by a place where hulihia (catastrophic change) and kulia (restoration) can be observed as the land transitions from the 1868 lava flow and its pioneer plants to deeper soil with more diverse and older flora. Learn about native plants and their significance in Hawaiian culture. This moderate hike is about 2 miles and takes two hours. Offered from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday.

Can’t make a guided hike but want to get to know Kahuku better? The Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will tailor a customized trek just for you. Visit the Friends website. Proceeds support Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Sneak Peek into Next Week: Join July’s artist in residence, John Ferdico, at 10 a.m. July 20 at the Kahuku Visitor Contact Station as he showcases his multicolored model aircraft and discusses how they are made. Supported by the Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the National Parks Arts Foundation. Kahuku events are posted to the park website, www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/kahuku-hikes.htm.

Mokupapapa Discovery Center: Find your park rangers from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ​Tuesday through Saturday at the Mokupapapa Discovery Center in downtown Hilo. Rangers provide daily eruption updates at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Hawaii Pacific Parks Association also set up shop and offers a range of educational items, books and souvenirs for sale. The center is located at 76 Kamehameha Ave.

Prince Kuhio Plaza: Come visit park rangers at the new Hawaii Pacific Parks Association store and learn about current volcanic conditions and what’s going on in the park. Proceeds benefit six national park sites in Hawaii and American Samoa. The popular Hilo mall, located at 111 E. Puainako St., opens daily at 10 a.m.

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Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus: You can also find your park at the Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road in Volcano Village. Rangers are there most days from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. to provide talks and answer questions about the current eruption.

• Park rangers also greet incoming arrivals at Hilo International Airport, welcome cruise ship passengers as they disembark at the Port of Hilo and inform visitors at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center most Sundays.

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