Monday, Oct. 2, 2023 |
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LIHU‘E — Eleven events on Kaua‘i, many of them free but with limited space, are planned from Oct. 10 to Oct. 16 in celebration of National Wildlife Refuge Week.
Gary Smith, a local historian, will open the week-long celebration with a free, vigorous six-mile hike to a spectacular vantage point at a North Shore national wildlife refuge, accessible only to guided visitors on Oct. 10.
He will be sharing the rich history of the refuge and the bright past of Kilauea Town on this space-limited hike, and people interested in spending time with him from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. will need to make reservations by calling 828-1413.
The event comes on the heels of the successful Nene Awareness Day, when more than 650 visitors took advantage of the free admission to Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.
During the celebration, the Kilauea Point NWR will be closed Oct. 11 in observance of Discoverers’ Day, a federal holiday. But on Oct. 12, two events are scheduled.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ranger Andrew Swan will be leading a free moderately strenuous hike to a remote section of the refuge with wildlife and breathtaking coastal views at 9 a.m. The hike is expected to take about 2.5 hours and space is limited. Reservations can be made by calling 828-1413.
Also on Oct. 12, guides will unlock the story of the Hule‘ia River Valley from 8 a.m. to noon on a paddle on the river adjacent to the Hule‘ia National Wildlife Refuge. This event is sponsored by Outfitters Kaua‘i and cost is $10. Space is limited and reservations are required by calling 828-1413.
Jennifer Waipa, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ranger, will be leading another Crater Hill hike on Oct. 13 at 9 a.m. It is expected to take about 2.5 hours. Reservations for this free moderately strenuous hike can be made by calling 828-1413.
Park Ranger Sheri Saari will lead the Oct. 14 Crater Hill hike that is also starting at 9 a.m. with reservations required.
On that day, refuge biologist Kim Uyehara will lead a kayak tour up the Hanalei River and discuss Hawai‘i’s endangered water birds. This event is free, sponsored by Kayak Kaua‘i, and will run from 8 a.m. to noon. Space is limited and reservations are required by calling 828-1413.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Beth Flint will lead a hike up Crater Hill to discuss some of the estimated 15 million seabirds that are flying over Hawaiian waters or breeding on the Hawaiian Islands at any one time.
This free moderately strenuous hike will start at 9 a.m., Oct. 15, and space is limited with reservations required for the “Seabirds of Hawai‘i” hike. Call 828-1413.
The Calvary Chapel, North Shore, will host “Winged Migration,” a family-friendly movie starting at 7 p.m., Oct. 15, at Kilauea Theater. Reservations are not required, but space is limited.
This year, National Wildlife Refuge Week will focus on the health of the world’s birds — especially those that depend on refuge lands and waters for nesting, foraging, wintering or rest stops on their migration routes.
The public is invited to Kilauea Point NWR on Oct. 16 when admission will be waived from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
During this time, the Keiki Fun program will offer children an opportunity to meet the Blue Goose, the mascot of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Keiki fun activity booths will be available and the Purple Stripe Honu Theatre for Kids will perform “Where’s Mom,” a play written by Laurel Petterson McGraw. Performances are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and will feature McGraw, Eve Solomon, Porto, Rene and Shana Wo.
Smith will close the week with a Crater Hill/Mokolea Point hike from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Oct. 16. Space is limited and reservations are required for the vigorous six-mile hike. Call 828-1413 for reservations.
Kaua‘i’s has three national wildlife refuges — Kilauea Point, Hanalei and Hule‘ia — that share an important role in Kaua‘i’s rich cultural and natural history.
Kilauea Point, with its dramatic backdrop of steep cliffs plunging to the ocean, is described as one of the best places in the main Hawaiian Islands to view seabirds.
Hanalei Valley is circled by waterfalls and harbors the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge. The Hule‘ia National Wildlife Refuge is on the southeast side of the island and is adjacent to the ‘Alekoko Fish Pond, more commonly known as the Menehune Fish Pond. It includes wooded slopes and bottomlands along the Hule‘ia River.
“Hanalei and Hule‘ia Refuges provide invaluable habitat for five of Hawai‘i’s endangered water birds, while Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge offers visitors a rare opportunity to view migratory seabirds in the wild,” said Refuge Manager Shannon Smith. “Take advantage of this national week of celebration by joining us and discovering hundreds of seabirds nesting atop sheer sea cliffs, enjoy ever-changing views of river valleys where taro farming coexists with endangered water birds, and check out the exciting restoration of the Kilauea Point Lighthouse.”
The National Wildlife Refuge System is made up of more than 550 refuges throughout the United States from Alaska to Puerto Rico, from Maine to the Big Island of Hawai‘i, and protect more than 95 million acres set aside to conserve habitat for birds and other wildlife.
For more information, call 828-1413.
•Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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