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Jan 12, 2019

Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park resumes basic visitor services

By KITV 4 ISLAND NEWS

HONAUNAU, January 12, 2019 – Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park announced on Saturday that the park will be reopening the visitor center restrooms and providing trash collection in the park. Visitors should visit the park website at nps.gov/puho while planning their visit to get the latest information on accessibility and available services.

National Park Service officials say they determined that using Federal Land and Recreation Enhancement funds to immediately bring back park maintenance crews to clean restrooms and remove trash will allow continued accessibility to the park for visitors while ensuring health and safety.

While the outdoor areas of the park will remain accessible, the parking area will remain closed.  Most facilities will remain closed. 

While basic visitor services have been restored, other services may be limited or unavailable during the lapse in appropriations, including visitor centers, ranger talks and programs. For updates on the shutdown, please visit www.doi.gov/shutdown

Meanwhile, Blue Zones Project® coordinated a volunteer cleanup of over 75 volunteers to support cleanup efforts at this park. Blue Zones Project says this cleanup was prompted by the impacts created by the closure of the park due to the ongoing federal government shutdown.

Blue Zones Project® is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to lifestyle, environment, policy, and social networks. Supported through an innovative sponsorship by HMSA, research finds that community members who come together to volunteer tend to live happier and longer lives. 

The goal of this cleanup was to protect a Hawaiian sacred space and the historic features at the park. Within the past week, small groups of community members visited the national park to take out trash and clean areas where needed. 

“I’m amazed by the outpouring of support that our community has shared. Their aloha for Pu?uhonua o Honaunau is huge,” stated Kirstin Kahaloa, community engagement lead for Blue Zones Project. “This event was planned quickly due to the urgency of need and in a few short days, over 75 people showed up to malama this community treasure.”

Blue Zones Project provided trash bags, gloves and healthy snacks for all volunteers. To date, 2,000 residents on Hawaii Island have given of their time to volunteer with Blue Zones Project.

The next volunteer project is on Monday, January 21st on Martin Luther King Jr.’s National Day of Service with the Liliuokalani Trust at its preserve in Kona from 9 a.m. to noon to remove invasive species from the area. For more information, visit bluezonesproject.com.

 

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