Categorized | Volunteering

National Kids To Parks Day (May 19)

Volcano keiki plant trees in 2011. (Photo courtesy of NPS)

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On Saturday, May 19, thousands of children nationwide, including in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, will take part in National Park Trust’s second annual National Kids to Parks Day.

“We want to encourage children across the country to explore their neighborhood parks and discover the history, nature, and adventure right around the corner or just across town.The summer season is the time to be outdoors and have fun,” said NPT executive director Grace Lee.

The Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s “Forest Restoration Project” is scheduled to coincide with National Kids to Parks Day on May 19. This month’s project will be kid-friendly and family-friendly.

“From 9 a.m. to noon, we need the community’s help to plant native seedling trees and remove invasive ginger,” said Mark Johnson, co-chairman of the Friends’ Forest Restoration Committee.

“We’ll be working in the Kilauea summit area of the park, not far from the Kilauea Visitor Center. We hope kids of all ages come out and bring their families to learn more about the park’s native forest restoration efforts,” he said.

Volunteers can be any age, although children must be supervised by a parent or guardian. Work takes place within 1/4 mile of the parking area, with access on a fairly easy trail.

Close-toed shoes are required and long pants recommended, along with gear for variable weather conditions (be prepared for sun or rain with a hat, raincoat, sunscreen, etc.) plus drinking water and snacks.

The goal is a crew of 24 people, and pre-registration is required via 985-7373 or forest@fhvnp.org.

All participants will need to sign a Friends release form and a park volunteer form. For those under 18, an adult will need to co-sign.Instructions on where to meet will be provided upon registration.

After visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, kids are encouraged to submit photos of their adventures to Buddy@BuddyBison.org for possible inclusion in NPT’s national map commemorating the day.

National Kids to Parks Day has been endorsed by Department of Interior’s Youth in the Great Outdoors, America’s State Parks, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Education Association, Children’s National Medical Center, Boy Scouts of America, US Army Corps of Engineers, Children & Nature Network, and National Environmental Education Foundation.NPT officially supports the First Lady’s Let Move Outside! initiative to get more youth and families to be active and live healthier.

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