By Cindy Orlando, Superintendent of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Aloha Friends of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.
We are honored to host the ninth annual BioBlitz, a tribute to the geology, biology and Hawaiian culture shared with millions of visitors and perpetuated from sea level to its volcanic summits.
Hawai’i National Park was established in 1916, and included Haleakala on the island of Maui until 1961. We were the 15th national park in a system that now numbers 407 units.
The BioBlitz and Biodiversity Cultural Festival will celebrate many things but most importantly such Native Hawaiian values as malama ‘aina (nourishing and taking care of the land), and kuleana (responsibility). The sacred, natural landscape serves as a refuge for plants and animals found nowhere else in the world and is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa.
The National Park Service kuleana, on behalf of the Native Hawaiian culture, is to protect the park’s rich geologic features and native ecosystems, preserve its rich cultural heritage, and provide unforgettable visitor experiences.
We invite you to immerse yourself in the volcanic topography that supports one of the most fascinating biologic landscapes in the world, sustaining diverse populations of plant and animal communities, and the unique role the park plays as an important home to living cultures in Hawai’i.
Today Native Hawaiians live and worship on this sacred ground. It is through the Hawaiian principle of I ka nana no a ‘ike–by observing, one learns–that we continue to learn and protect this amazing place, and inspire future generations to do the same.
We hope you too will contribute to our modern history and visit us on May 15 and 16 at BioBlitz!