There’s no doubt that the Haleakala Crater (which we know is not technically a “crater” but whatever) is a majestic spot. But Mother Nature and Haleakala National Park can’t do it all on their own. Keeping the crater pristine is a job for the community. That’s why Haleakala National Park is recruiting middle school interns to work alongside their professional staff and assist with duties like native plant identification, invasive weed control, facilities maintenance, guided hikes and outdoor safety education for spring break 2013.
The program, called Kupukupu ‘Aina, is for students in grades 6-8 and designed to generate interest in natural resources management careers. National Park Service officials offer it as a way to provide crucial stepping stones to teens for the development of professional contacts and marketable skills, with “appreciation of Hawaii’s natural areas and species” as an additional bonus. The park also offers the Pohai Maile internship for high school students, and ‘Imi i ka Lama internships for college kids.
Students can apply for internships by contacting Kuhea Paracuelles, the park’s Internship Coordinator, at 808-572-4452 or Kuhea_Paracuelles@nps.gov. The deadline for the application is Jan. 31, 2013. Students must be available full time March 18-22, 2013, from 7:30am to 4pm. Free transportation is available from designated sites on the island. There is no cost to participate or apply, and qualifying interns receive a living allowance of $25 per day to offset the cost of needed equipment and supplies. 12 students will be selected out of the competitive application process.
Friends of Haleakala National Park is also looking for volunteers to assist with native plant protection in the crater wilderness this Saturday through Monday, Dec. 1-3. Participants must be able to hike in and out of the crater carrying their sleeping bag and a share of the food. The park entrance and cabin fees are waived for volunteers on this trip.
Overnight accommodation will be at Kapalaoa Cabin, with some free time for stargazing, hiking, photos or just relaxation. To join the Friends of Haleakala, visit fhnp.org to find out more about their mission and work. Call the trip leader at 808-876-1673 for a reservation.