Friends of Haleakala Description of Service Work

Participants on Service / Learning trips will perform at least 4 hours of service work. Participants on Service trips will perform 5 hours of service work for each night stay in the cabin. Working Conditions Haleakala National Park extends from see level to 10,023 feet. The summit area of the park receives anywhere from 40 to 150 inches of rain each year with the coastal area of Kipahulu receiving over 80 inches. Temperatures at the summit can range between 30F and 70F at anytime of the year. Work will be performed outside and weather can range from hot and sunny to cold, wet and windy. Weather changes rapidly and volunteers need to be prepared for any type of weather at anytime of the year. Volunteers will be backpacking four to ten miles each way to one of the cabins.
Service work will vary from trip to trip, but is likely to be one of the following, or similar tasks.

Cabin Cleaning

Wash dishes, cabinets, table, benches and bunks with soap, water, TSP substitute, bleach, etc.. Mop floors, wash windows, and broom clean exterior of cobwebs.

Cabin Scrubbing

Wash walls and ceiling with soap, water, TSP substitute, bleach, etc. using towels and sponges. Rinse clean. Rubber gloves and eye protection will be available.

Cabin painting

Prep walls and ceilings with spackle or caulk and sand as required. Paint walls, ceilings, baseboards and cabinets. Clean up.

Thistle eradication at Paliku

Work site is pasture of tall grass located within 15-minute walk of Paliku Cabin. Participants will use work gloves, clippers, shovels and bags provided and will comb the pasture looking for thistle plants. Any mature blooms or seed heads will be clipped and bagged. All plants will be pulled, torn apart and left to lie. A count will be taken of immature and mature plants. A park representative or a volunteer leader will coordinate work.

Nene habitat improvement at Paliku

Worksite is the akala patch located directly behind the Paliku Patrol cabin. Participants will use serrated hand sickles (provided) to cut and remove invasive grass that is growing in amongst the akala plants and into the native forest. Grass will be removed and transported by wheelbarrow to nearby horse pasture where it will be left to dry. Working with sharp sickles is dangerous. Take care when using these tools.

Blackberry eradication at Paliku

Project location is in a field nearby Paliku Cabin. Volunteers will assist Park personnel and/or qualified volunteer leaders by using provided clippers to clip Blackberry near its base and clearing the area by folding tall grass away from the base. Park personnel or qualified volunteer leaders may apply Garlon (a poison) to the stump of the blackberry plant immediately after it is cut.

Heterotheca eradication

Heterotheca is found in several regions in remote areas of the Park, many of them are off of designated trails. Volunteers will hike away from the cabins for several miles both on designated trails and off trail in areas of potentially poor footing due to loose lava, tall grass, and thick shrubbery. Volunteers will clip or pull flowers and seed head heads from heterotheca plants and place these in plastic bags. All heterotheca plants will be pulled and counted and left to lie. Seed heads and flowers will be returned to the cabin for removal by Park personnel. Volunteers will be taught how to walk off trail and leave minimal damage and how to identify the target weeds. Project leaders will direct the group to the worksite and will oversee the work. Heterotheca projects often require volunteers to be away from the cabin all day long (~8 hours) and require significant hiking over difficult terrain, possibly in poor weather.


All outdoor service tasks may be conducted in periods of poor weather. Volunteers must be prepared to wear rain gear to stay dry and proper clothing to stay warm. Extended hikes away from the cabin require volunteers to carry water and food as well. Tools and gloves will be provided.