(BIVN) – Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will mark National Public Lands Day with free entrance for visitors on September 26, but instead of the usual Stewardship at the Summit volunteer opportunities, residents are encouraged to mālāma ʻāina in other ways.
The National Park Service shared this news release today, along with the video above:
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park invites everyone to participate in National Public Lands Day this year by doing something good for the ‘āina (land), and to take advantage of a fee-free day on Saturday, September 26. All federal fee-charging lands in the U.S. are free of charge.
Most years, the park organizes a Stewardship at the Summit event on National Public Lands Day (NPLD), attracting volunteers from all over the island of Hawai‘i who come and help remove invasive plants from the native rainforest. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the park is encouraging people to do something good for the land on their own to honor NPLD while maintaining social distancing.
“When it comes to mālama ‘āina, taking care of the land, it’s everyone’s kuleana, everyone’s responsibility,” said Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park community volunteer ambassador, Moses Espaniola. “It’s also everyone’s kuleana to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, so we came up with three ways you can help the land stay healthy, and help each other stay healthy,” Espaniola said.
A new park video created by Espaniola, offers three activities to connect with nature while protecting it:
1.) Remove an invasive plant from your property, and replace it with a native plant, or
2.) Pick up ‘opala (rubbish) from a beach, park or other public land, or
3.) Write a haiku about your favorite public land
No matter what activity is chosen, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park encourages people to post a photo or video of themselves engaged in the activity to their personal social media account, and tag @hawaiivolcanoesnps between September 26 and 30. Haiku writers are encouraged to read their haiku on video. The park will share the most inspiring posts to its Facebook and Instagram accounts.
For more information on NPLD, please visit the National Environmental Education Foundation website.