Skip to content
Reading time: 2 minutes
Volunteers removing invasive weeds at Halepōhaku. The invasive species weed pulls, held since 2012, have proven quite successful with over 800 participants volunteering over 5,000 hours, pulling over 1,000 garbage bags of invasive weeds and also planting 200 Maunakea silversword. Photo courtesy Office of Maunakea Management

The Office of Maunakea Management at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, which is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Maunakea Science Reserve, is seeking community volunteers to participate in its ongoing Mālama Maunakea campaign.

The effort concentrates on eradicating the highly invasive fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) along the Maunakea Access Road and around Halepōhaku at approximately 9,200-foot elevation. The fireweed pulls help keep the invasive species from being transported to the upper elevation areas of Maunakea and reduce habitat for invasive insects.

Volunteer event details

Fireweed, also called Madagascar ragwort (Senecio madagascariensis), on Maunakea at elevation 2,980m (9,775 ft). Introduced and invasive in Hawaiʻi, the highly invasive plant is native to southern Africa. Photo by Jim Morefield in UH Hilo Stories.

Weed pulling is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, starting at 8:00 a.m. Space is limited and lunch is provided.

For Hilo-based volunteers, transportation to and from Hilo is provided. For West Hawaiʻi volunteers, the Office of Maunakea Management will help coordinate ride sharing. A brief tour of Maunakea resources caps the day.

To volunteer or for more information, see the Office of Maunakea Management website, call (808)933-3884 or email OMKMvolunteers-grp[at]

Mālama Maunakea

“Our overarching goal at the Office of Maunakea Management is to mālama Maunakea,” says Stephanie Nagata, director of the office. “Taking care of 12,000 acres is a daunting task, but with collaborative community partnerships we can accomplish much.”

Nagata says she is grateful for the school groups, service organizations, chambers of commerce, individuals and families who give a weekend of their time to take care of Maunakea.

—From UH Hilo Stories

Back To Top