Waimea Valley’s volunteers are an important part of our mission as an organization, not only do they help us do essential work to support the preservation of our cultural sites and knowledge, they also play a big role in our environmental conservation, forest restoration, and botanical garden maintenance. We have opportunities for both groups and individuals to join the volunteer team and help this beautiful valley thrive. There are 3 main ways that volunteers can get involved here, they are: registering for individual volunteer opportunities, joining us for volunteer events, and setting up group projects.
MAY 2021 Volunteer Schedule
La' Ohana Workdays
Check-in 9 AM
May 15th Saturday
Hānai Āina Workdays
Sunday, May 9th, from 9 am to 3 pm – Invasive Species Removal
Thursday, May 20th, from 9 am to 3 pm – Invasive Species Removal
Saturday, May 22nd, from 9 am to 3 pm – Forest Restoration
Our typical schedule is to have the Thursdays as invasive species removal days in the main valley and the weekends as forest restoration days up on Kalāhe‘e ridge; weather and access pending.
**Please specify which date you plan on volunteering when you send your RSVP**
*** Please remember that when you RSVP, you are committing to the entire time specified above. We do not have enough staff to hike down early with volunteers and expect you to arrive on time.***
Meet at Waimea Valley Botanical Office at 9 am we suggest arriving at Waimea at 8:30 to give ample preparation time for the hike.
On the weekends, we will be hiking up onto Kalahe`e Ridge to plant native species and remove invasive weeds. (Except for Sunday the 9th)
On Thursdays, we will be hiking to various target locations in the valley to remove invasive species and restore the habitats.
We are looking for a maximum of 20 people for each date (ages 12 and up). **This number might change depending on the state mandates and safety measures. I will inform volunteers of any changes.
Please call or RSVP as soon as you can commit to the date(s).
What to bring:
Water (at least 2 liters) (REQUIRED)
Insect repellent (just for the hike or ride up)
Close toed Shoes (REQUIRED)
Long sleeved shirt
A face mask (Required throughout the workday especially for the morning meetup, in all public areas in Waimea, and especially in any situation where a 6-foot distance cannot be maintained between participants who are not from the same household) ( We prefer that masks only be removed to eat, drink or catch your breath. When you do remove the mask you must move 6ft away from everyone else to do that and when you are done, immediately put the mask back on.
Hand sanitizer or wipes, I will have some available.
A Positive Attitude!
** We will provide tools**
Kalahe`e Ridge (upper Valley)--- It is a moderate hike up to the site about 45 minutes. On some occasions, there is a truck that will carry some people, tools, plants, and equipment, but it is not there every time so don’t count on it. You need to be capable of hiking up and down unassisted.
Gardens (lower valley) – The trail is easy to moderate and we can usually get to our target locations in 20-30 minutes, but you still need to be capable of hiking out and back unassisted.
** There is very little shade on the ridge and it can get quite hot!!** **There are also a lot of mosquitos in the valley, be prepared**
***YOU MUST RSVP WITH VOLUNTEERS@WAIMEAVALLEY.NET***
To join the volunteer team as an Individual, people register with the volunteer coordinator and they are given a choice of different departments and projects to get involved with. Some Individual volunteer opportunities include hospitality ambassadors, docents, botanical assistants, facilities maintenance, office assistants, special events assistants, and conservation team members. Our volunteer program provides training and experience to the participants and the opportunity to learn from and connect with our incredible staff. This is mostly meant for adults, but minors can join our team with their parent's permission.
Our volunteer events are another great way for individuals and groups to get involved in the valley. We hold 2 big volunteer celebrations each year, one in April for Earth Day and one in October for Make A Difference Day. The 2 yearly events include a volunteer project in the morning followed by a raffle with fun prizes and the opportunity to connect with other local organizations. We also have monthly volunteer events, called ‘Ohana volunteer days and Hānai ‘Āina conservation Workdays. The Ohana volunteer days run one Saturday a month and are open to participants of all ages, these days are set up for families to get involved and even include an optional cultural activity to thank the participants for their time. The Hānai ‘Āina conservation workdays are for ages 12 and up. We hold 2-3 workdays each month for people who are interested in things like invasive species removal and forest restoration. Volunteers who find an event that they want to join do not need to fill out applications, they simply need to RSVP with the volunteer coordinator to secure a spot and come prepared for the work on the day of the event.
Last, but not least are our group projects, these are open to private businesses, schools, civic clubs, non-profit organizations, and any other organizations that are looking for service opportunities. We work with volunteer groups of all ages, so if your group has an interest in the valley, we can find a way for them to help. Groups are welcome to sign up together for our regular volunteer events, in fact, we encourage people to bring their friends along, but they may also set up group projects that are just for their teams. These projects can be arranged with the volunteer coordinator and are typically scheduled 2-4 weeks in advance. They are great service-learning opportunities because groups can earn free admission tours and cultural activities on the day of service. We have many groups that return regularly, some visit yearly and some even return as often as twice per month. We even have a group that adopted their favorite garden and come in once a month to maintain the area. The scheduling for these projects depends on the volunteer coordinator’s free days, so any groups that are looking for opportunities need to contact them to set up the event and get an RSVP.
All of our volunteer opportunities are designed to inspire closer connections to our precious 'āina (land), and the traditional Hawaiian cultural practices that we honor and celebrate. We want to provide knowledge and training for all participants to learn and grow through their time and contributions. Our hope is that the volunteers with continue t take their valuable lessons out into the world around Waimea and make it a better place.
For more information about Waimea’s volunteer program, or to become a part of our volunteer 'ohana (family), please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at (808) 638-7766 ext. 855 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please review the list of Volunteer Opportunities to determine your areas of interest.
Ambassadors play a vital role at Waimea Valley. As the first and last people to welcome our guests at the main entrance, Ambassadors give a great first impression, and leave a fond, lasting impression of Waimea Valley. As an Ambassador, volunteers are provided with opportunities to continually deepen their knowledge of the cultural and environmental significance of the valley, while simultaneously strengthening their outreach and public speaking skills. Desired skills and abilities: - Be able to express aloha - Outgoing and comfortable talking to strangers - Familiar with botanical, cultural, and ecological highlights of Waimea Valley (helpful) - Understand and represent the mission of Hi'ipaka/Waimea Valley - Available on a long-term, weekly basis
Gardens and Horticulture
Home to over 5000 varieties of plants from throughout the globe, Waimea Valley’s botanical garden collections are legendary. The work involved in maintaining our world-class botanical gardens requires attention and care from both dedicated staff and volunteers. Responsibilities include watering, potting, preparing soils, weeding, pruning, mulching, and general plant maintenance. Desired skills and abilities: - Comfortable kneeling and bending - Comfortable lifting light to moderate objects and tools (i.e. shovel and potted plants) - Moderate physical fitness - General knowledge of gardening is helpful
Help us maintain Waimea’s grounds and facilities through projects such as painting railings, benches, picnic tables and more. Desired skills and abilities: Comfortable kneeling and bending Comfortable lifting light to moderate objects and tools (i.e. shovel and potted plants) Moderate physical fitness
Special Events Support
Nearly all of our special events throughout the year require the assistance and expertise of volunteers to be successful. Because most of our events take place in the evening or on weekends, special events volunteer opportunities offer flexibility in scheduling. Volunteer duties vary by event, but may include traffic control/parking, concessions, and greeting guests. Desired skills and abilities: Interpersonal skills Works well independently and as part of a team Periodic availability
Hui Hānai Āina (Help Restore Our Native Forest)
Waimea Valley's mauka (mountain) regions are undergoing an amazing amount of change. In the last 3 years, we planted nearly 20,000 native plants in our mauka restoration sites. Join our Waimea Valley and be a part of this ongoing effort to remove weeds and plant native plants. Volunteer activities include cutting down invasive weeds, planting natives, and native seed collection. Desired skills and abilities: Moderate physical fitness Comfortable hiking uphill, along mountain ridge
Provide general administrative assistance that requires attention to detail and organization (i.e. answering phone calls, filing, computer-based tasks, and mailings).
Special Projects Support
Support special projects staff with various tasks (i.e. data collection, publicity, and outreach). Desired skills and abilities: Organizational, written and verbal skills Detail oriented and committed to meeting deadlines Works well independently and as part of a team Interpersonal skills Comfortable working with web and online search engines Knowledge of Microsoft Office programs, including Outlook, Word, and Excel