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Wilderness Volunteers

Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, HI (Apr 26th - May 1st 2019)

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In 1985 the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge was established to protect native Hawaiian forest birds and their rain forest habitat. Located on the eastern slope of Mauna Kea, the 33,000-acre refuge supports a diverse array of native plants and birds. Many species are rare and endangered, including several colorful Hawaiian honeycreepers: the akiapolaau, Hawaii akepa and Hawaii creeper. Other common and brilliantly-colored forest birds include the 'i'wi, apapane and amakihi. The upper reaches of the refuge contain some of the finest stands of koa and 'o'hia lehua forest in the world.

Most of the refuge is closed to public use and entry is by special use permit. The Fish and Wildlife Service will shuttle us over rugged roads from Hilo to this remote refuge where we will spend four days living in Hakalau Cabin (with dormitory accommodations), planting native trees to reforest the refuge, removing invasive plants in the rainforest, and working in the greenhouse. The work is strenuous; we'll be hiking over uneven ground with plants/tools and working in humid conditions. After our work project, we will have the privilege of a day off in this unique wild place where we'll likely visit a historic cabin and head to the rainforest for a chance to see some of Hakalau's most endangered birds.

This project is rated as a active project.

Join us for our 17th project at the beautiful Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge!

**Note: Participants on Hawaii trips must have paid for their airfare at least two months before the trip and furnish this information to the leaders. We have discovered that folks who do not have firm travel plans by this time often cancel from the trip, and these trips are hard to fill at the last minute.

Check out more photos of last year's Hakalau Forest NWR project in our gallery.

Here's a short summary of last year's project and WV's ongoing work at Hakalau.


Apr 26th - May 1st 2019

Service Project

Planting native trees & plants, removing invasive vines, working in greenhouse

Agency logo

Free Days

Visit a historic koa cabin & head to the rainforest for a chance to see endangered hawaiian birds


Dormitory rooms in volunteer cabin

Project Difficulty

Active : Humid working conditions, hiking over uneven ground, bending, lifting


Kathleen Worley
Gerald Norton

Equipment List