Be a Volunteer on the Big Island

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A great way to have fun AND do good at the same time, is to do some volunteering while you are visiting Hawaii. Giving something back to mother nature is guaranteed to be a memorable experience and, besides, it will take you to wilderness that few other visitors (and locals for that matter) will ever experience! To quote a happy volunteer, it “puts a smile on your face, and fill your pockets with good memories!”

You can help out in many ways. You can set aside (part of) one day of your vacation to help clear trails and rainforest of invasive species, but you can also sign up for a multiple-month adventure to monitor local ecosystems or help preserve the endangered Hawkbill Turtles!

We list below some links to organizations that organize volunteering opportunities.

Volunteer and go whale watching!

Volunteer on the Big Island, O’ahu or Kaua’i for the humpback whales of Hawaii on each last Saturday of January, February and March for the sanctuary ocean count. Residents and visitors team up for four hours to volunteer and make the world a better place! During the ocean count you will be counting whales and registering their behavior together with a group of volunteers.

Read more about volunteering and saving the whales on Hawaii.

Volunteer at the Volcano Art Center

The Volcano Art Center organizes forest work days every third Sunday of the month. You can also help them out with site and trail maintenance, and much more. You can find more information on the volunteering section of their website.

Volunteer at the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge

Occasionally Friends of Hakalau Forest organizes volunteer service trips.  These trips could be out-planting of native trees, working in the native plant greenhouse, or annual cleaning of the volunteer cabin, or possibly interior or exterior painting of cabins, or other work. You can find more information on the volunteering section of their website.

Volunteer at the Kahalu‘u Bay education center

The Kohala Center has entered into a ten-year agreement with the County of Hawai‘i to establish a learning center—the Kahalu‘u Bay Education Center—at Kahalu‘u Beach Park. Kahalu‘u Bay Education Center offers a unique visitor education experience—one that teaches respect and reverence for the natural and cultural resources of Kahalu‘u Bay.  You can help them out by volunteering to become a reef teacher, a citizen scientist or a KBEC volunteer, and you can also “Adopt-a-Day ” at Kahalu’u bay. Find out more on the volunteering section of their website.

Volunteer at the Sierra Club

Help the Sierra Club make the world a better place! The Sierra Club protects and restores Hawaii’s native habitats, prevents the introduction and spread of alien species, and cleans up coastal pollution. You can find more information on the volunteering section of their website.

Save the Hawkbill turtles!

Saving the Hawkbill turtles requires an 8-12 week commitment and long, strenuous work! This is not something to do “on your day off”, but will give you a lifetime-experience. Your tasks include, e.g. watching over nests and protecting them against predators and tagging and helping hatched turtles. Accommodation and a small daily stipend are provided. You can find more information on the volunteering section of their website.

Volunteer at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Be a V.I.P (Volunteer in Park) and help the National park  protect some of the most treasured natural and cultural resources in America. You can find more information on the volunteering section of their website.

Volunteer at the Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site

It is possible to  volunteer for any amount of time that suits you: one hour, a day, a week, or longer. You can find more information on the volunteering section of their website.