Hawaii Volcanoes National Park would have a tough time fulfilling its mission if it wasn’t for the efforts from its corps of dedicated volunteers.
Last year, 651 park volunteers contributed 27,568 hours of their time helping the park in various ways. They worked in museum collections and archives, led hikes and answered countless visitor questions, monitored the backcountry, restored native forest, maintained trails, helped save native animals like honu‘ea (hawksbill turtles) and other endangered species, and so much more. Their invaluable effort is equal to 13.25 full-time equivalent employees working 40 hours a week, or $701,000.
On Wednesday, the park and its non-profit partners, the Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Hawaii Pacific Parks Association, hosted a lunch and appreciation party for the volunteers. Volunteer coordinator Kupono McDaniel told volunteers that the park could not fulfill its mission without their invaluable efforts.
“On behalf of the entire park, we are deeply humbled by all that you do,” McDaniel said. “When more than 600 people are willing to do my job for free, I am reminded how powerful and far-reaching our work really is. Volunteers are the true philanthropists, the people who give their most valuable commodity, their time, to ensure our parks are here for the next generation,” he said.
Anyone interested in volunteering at HVNP can visit www.volunteer.gov/gov, or contact Kupono McDaniel at 985-6015 or email@example.com.