Volunteers on Vacation is a free program offered by Pacific Whale Foundation to help you easily find meaningful service projects to benefit Maui’s environment. Visitors and residents can spend a few hours giving back to the local community while enjoying access to “off the beaten trail” places and learning about the history and natural ecosystem of the area. Plus, you’ll receive a free tote bag made of recycled materials when you volunteer for 3 hours or more. Signing up is easy.
To reserve your spot, please call Pacific Whale Foundation at least 24 hours in advance: (808) 249-8811 ext. 1. Our operators are available between 6am and 9pm (HST).
Coastal Marine Debris Monitoring Program
Participate in Pacific Whale Foundation’s marine debris citizen science research when you select a beach of your choosing to clean up and fill out a data sheet recording what debris items are present. This allows our researchers to expand their data set and analyze the trends and patterns of debris on Maui’s beaches and shores. Pick up your supplies (gloves, recycled bag, datasheet) at Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Stores, or at participating retailers. Learn more about the Coastal Marine Debris Monitoring Program.
Haleakalā National Park
Offered on the first and third Saturday of each month
There’s no other place on earth like Haleakalā! Volunteers are given free transportation to the summit of Haleakalā and free admission to Haleakalā National Park. You’ll work alongside a certified Naturalist and Haleakalā Park staff to remove invasive plant species or help with other projects to preserve this park’s native ecosystem. Free transportation is provided from Pacific Whale Foundation Ocean Store in Ma’alaea (meet at 7:30 a.m on Saturday) and the Tavares Community Center in Pukalani (meet at 8:00 a.m). Trip lasts approximately 7 hours, including transportation to and from the park. Bring warm clothes, long pants, closed-toe shoes, water, sunscreen, and lunch. Visit the Haleakalā Park website.
Hawaiian Islands Land Trust - Wailuku
Offered weekly on Fridays
Visit Waihe’e Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge, a remarkable coastal area rich in Hawaiian history and bird watching. You’ll help remove invasive plant species and clear brush and weeds, helping restore critical native wildlife habitat while preserving a significant cultural site, once populated with two thriving Hawaiian villages. The project runs from 8:00am to 12:00pm. Meet at the Waihe’e Refuge located off of Halewaiu Road. Bring water, sunscreen, bug repellent, and hat (for sun protection) and wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Snacks and cold drinks provided.Visit the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust website.
Hoaloha 'Aina - South Maui
Offered weekly on Mondays
Help “Friends of the Land” maintain South Maui’s scenic coast. Possible activities include clearing an oceanside trail, restoring sand dunes, cleaning up litter, and/or removing invasive species. Project runs from 7:30am to 9:30am and the location is posted by the week on our partner’s website where you can also sign up for weekly notices. Visit the South Maui Volunteers website.
Malama Honokowai - West Maui
Offered weekly on Saturdays
Volunteer with Malama Honokowai and visit the beautiful and hidden Honokowai Valley, an area closed to the public. Among Hawaiian archaeological sites, you’ll learn about Hawaiian history and culture as you help to remove invasive weed plants and possibly plant native species. The project runs from 9:00am to 3:30pm. Meet at the Pu’ukoli’i Station “Sugar Cane Train” in Lahaina. Bring water, snacks, lunch, sunscreen and bug repellent and wear long-pants, closed-toe shoes, and a t-shirt. Visit the Maui Cultural Lands website.
O’o Farm - Kula
Offered weekly on Wednesdays
Lend a hand with farm chores at an exquisite organic farm in the misting forest of Waipoli in Upcountry Maui. O’o Farm is a unique and multi-faceted operation with its 8.5 acres sustaining numerous crops that have been developed from virgin land. Project runs from 8:45am to 11:30am. Meet at O’o Farm, 651 Waipoli Rd, Kula, HI. Wear sturdy shoes and bring water, sunscreen, and a light jacket that you don’t mind getting a little dirty. Visit the O’o Farm website.
Directions: Take Hana Highway to Haleakala Highway. Proceed uphill past the Makawao intersection. Haleakala Highway becomes Kula Highway 37. Proceed approximately 5-6 miles past Longs and Kula Elementary School (on the right hand side). Turn left on Kekaulike Rd/Highway 377 (just before mile marker #14). Proceed 0.3 mile on Kekaulike Road. Turn left on Waipoli Road and O’o Farm will be 0.3 miles uphill on the left (look for a small white sign).
If you cross over the cattle guard and get to Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, you’ve gone too far.
Sierra Club Hāmākua Mālama Day - Ha‘ikū
Offered on the last Saturday of every month
Volunteer with the Sierra Club Maui for a community service outing to remove trash and keep coastal trails open on 267 acres of Hāmākua lands purchased by Maui County. The area is mostly shrub non-native vegetation, criss-crossed with trails, and surround by cliffs with striking ocean views. Most trails have moderate slopes and a few less used trails are steep. The project runs from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm including recreational time to explore the area. Bring gloves, hand tools, water, hat, lunch and sturdy shoes.
To learn more or sign up call Pacific Whale Foundation at:
(808) 249-8811 ext. 1
Open daily, 6am – 9pm HST
Coral Reef Alliance - West Maui
Offered on the second Saturday of every month
Clean water is vital for both communities and coral reefs. Sediment and nutrient pollution from land makes its way to the ocean, threatening coral reef and human health. Revegetating eroding landscapes with plants can stabilize soil, absorb nutrients and sediments, and prevent pollutants from reaching the ocean. As a volunteer, you will help the Coral Reef Alliance revegetate stream banks with native plants, create sand bag corridors, and take part in other fun stream restoration activities up in the West Maui Mountains.
Project runs from 8:30am to 12:30pm. Bring a sack lunch, water bottle, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, rain gear and closed-toe shoes.
Meet at 275 Oka Kope Road, Lahaina by 8:30am. You will be parking outside the gated entrance to the Ka’anapali Coffee Farms. From there, you will hop into their trucks so that Coral Reef Alliance can safely carpool you to the site, which requires a 5-10 minute drive over unpaved and uneven terrain. The planting location is in the mid-slope region of the mountain in the Wahikuli watershed.