(BIVN) – Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park announced Saturday that the park will be reopening the visitor center restrooms and providing trash collection in the park, even as the partial shutdown of the federal government continues.
“National Park Service officials have determined that by using Federal Land and Recreation Enhancement funds to immediately bring back park maintenance crews to clean restrooms and remove trash will allow continued accessibility to the park for visitors while ensuring health and safety,” officials wrote in a media release.
Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau has remained accessible to the public during the shutdown in recent weeks, but without any National Park Service employees on duty, visitors to the park have noticed overflowing trashcans. The visitor center has been closed and all park programs are cancelled.
Community groups have been stepping up to clean the park during the shutdown. On the same day as Saturday’s National Park Service announcement, the Blue Zones Project coordinated a volunteer cleanup of over 75 volunteers to support cleanup efforts at the park.
“I’m amazed by the outpouring of support that our community has shared. Their aloha for Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau is huge,” stated Kirstin Kahaloa, community engagement lead for Blue Zones Project.
By bringing maintenance crews back to clean the park, the National park Service should alleviate the need for future community cleanups. While the outdoor areas of the park will remain accessible, park officials say the parking area will remain closed. Most facilities will remain closed.
“While basic visitor services have been restored, other services may be limited or unavailable during the lapse in appropriations, including visitor centers, ranger talks and programs,” the National Park Service media release stated. “Visitors should visit the park website at nps.gov/puho while planning their visit to get the latest information on accessibility and available services.”