KAILUA-KONA — Lineal descendants of South Kona stood voluntary posts at Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park on Sunday, filling ranger duties amid the federal government shutdown.
The 10 descendants assumed the duties to maintain visitor safety on behalf of the federal employees that are furloughed amid the longest federal government shutdown to date, according to Napua Hueu, volunteer coordinator with the Kua Hawaii Project.
Kua Hawaii Project said that concerned residents on Maui have exercised similar stewardship efforts at the Oheo National Park in Kipahulu and the Haleakala National Park volcano summit.
The Kua Hawaii Project said it has witnessed the National Park’s inability to protect park resources across the state and considers the parks and other federal lands around the country to be in a state of crisis. The group said that fragile ecosystems are being damaged and trash cans are overflowing.
The group provides training for resident volunteers looking to contribute their time to fill the void for National Park rangers during the shutdown. After training and certification, resident participants provide in-the-field advising; extending safety briefings along with cultural and historical information to park visitors. Resident volunteers are scheduled to be on post every day, the group said.
The Kua Hawaii Project does cleanups and trash removal efforts on weekends. Its objectives are to care for and protect various sacred sites throughout Hawaii.
Residents across the state interested in volunteering time, should email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.kuahawaii.com to review the volunteer training program.