Kauai, the most northerly of the major Hawaiian Islands, is the fourth largest and oldest of the seven island chain. Only 3% of the land area has been developed for commercial and residential use, leaving the remaining 97% divided between agriculture and conservation. Because the majority of island residents live and work in the coastal areas, the interior of Kauai is spectacularly beautiful and pristine. Kauai's weather is near perfect year-round with daytime temperatures ranging from the mid 70's to the mid 80's. The northeasterly trade winds provide refreshing breezes and the rain showers that usually fall in the evening and early morning hours predominate over the mountain ranges.
Waimea Canyon, described by Mark Twain as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," is ten miles long and about 3,000 feet deep. One memorable image of the canyon that will remain with you, beyond the incredible scale of it all, is the rainbow of colors that dance along the canyon peaks. From the last two lookouts there are spectacular views into Kalalau Valley, one of the most beautiful sights on the island. Koke’e State Park is at the top of the Waimea Canyon road; it is situated between the lovely Na Pali Coast on the west and Waimea Canyon on the east. The park, at 3,600 feet above sea level, is home to many native plants and brightly colored birds found only in upland Hawai'i. There are hiking trails throughout the park, offering rare opportunities for hikers at all levels of experience and fitness.
This is a regular returning service project that will focus on the removal of non-native, invasive plants and vines which threaten the existence of the native Hawaiian plants. Our partner organization on this project is the Koke'e Resource Conservation Program, the state park's exotic plants volunteer coordinators. From our base camp, we'll be making daily drives with KRCP out to the work sites throughout the park. This is a very wet place, so volunteers need good rain gear and are required to have boots with good traction for protection on the slippery surfaces. The day hikes can be a few miles. In the event of heavy rains, we may be called into action in the park's nursery. The staff at Koke'e encourages participants to learn the Hawaiian names of the local plants we deal with, so volunteers that are interested in plants will enjoy this trip more.
We'll stay in a private cabin home two miles outside the park, where we'll coordinate the kitchen, and use for group activities. Camping is in the large yard, spread out in tents, and there is limited space in the cabin as well. On our free day we will day hike and explore the park and its surroundings, and/or participants can visit the Koke’e Natural History Museum, a valuable resource for information about the park.
Check out more photos from last year's service project at Koke'e State Park in our gallery.
*Note: this trip requires all participants to have current health insurance (a requirement to volunteer and stay at Koke'e State Park). The leaders will provide your information to park staff.
**Note: Participants on Hawai'i projects must have paid for their airfare at least two months before the start date and furnish this information to the leaders. We have discovered that folks who do not have firm travel plans by this time often cancel, and these projects are hard to fill at the last minute.
Oct 4th - Oct 10th 2015
Invasive plant removal from rainforest
Day hikes to rainforest, caldera or beaches
Cabin and tents
Strenuous : Bending, lifting, digging, kneeling