Help restore a Hawaiian forest

November 9th, 2011
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The Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park are looking for volunteers to help gather mamane seeds. Mamane trees are the natural habitat for i‘iwi birds. Photo courtesy Carol Johnson.

The Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is looking for volunteers to help gather mamane seeds. Mamane trees are the natural habitat for i‘iwi birds. Photo courtesy Carol Johnson.

The Forest Restoration Project is looking for about a dozen volunteers to help gather mamane seeds from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 19) at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

The project's goal is to increase the mamane forests on Mauna Loa to provide future habitat and forage for native i‘iwi, or honeycreeper birds. Mamane (Latin name Sophora chrysophylla) are endemic to Hawaii's dry shrubland and dry to moist forests.

After collecting the seeds, volunteers will start processing the seed pods in the field, according to Mark Johnson, co-chair of the Friends' Forest Restoration Committee. Volunteers will also learn about the park's native forest restoration program.

Volunteers must be at least 12 years old, have the ability to hike at least one mile over uneven terrain with some ‘a‘a lava through brush with a moderate slope. Sturdy walking shoes and long pants are required, along with a rain jacket, hat, sunscreen, drinking water and a snack. If under 18, an adult needs to co-sign the Friends release form and park volunteer form.

It's also imperative to scrub the soles of one's shoes prior to arrival on site to ensure outside dirt and invasive species aren't tracked in.

To register, call the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at 808-985-7373 or email forest@fhvnp.org. Upon registration, instructions on where to meet will be provided. Find additional info at www.fhvnp.org.

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