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. Just call Pacific Whale Foundation at least 24 hours in advance at (808) 249-8811 ext. 1 between 6am and 9pm (HST).
Haleakala National Park
Offered on the first and third Saturday of each month
There’s no other place on earth like Haleakala! Volunteers are given free transportation to the summit of Haleakala and free admission to Haleakala National Park. You’ll work alongside a certified Naturalist and Haleakala Park staff to remove invasive plant species or help with other projects to preserve this park’s native ecosystem. Meet at 7:30am at Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Store in the Ma’alaea Harbor Shops. Trip lasts approximately 7 hours, including transportation to and from the park. Bring warm clothes, long pants, closed-toe shoes, water and lunch. Visit the Haleakala Park website.
Hawaiian Islands Land Trust - Waihe'e
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. The project runs from 8:00am to 12:00pm. Meet at the Waihe’e Refuge located off of Halewaiu Road. Bring water, sunscreen 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.
Directions: From Wailuku, take Kahekili Highway to Waihe’e and just past the ballfield, turn right onto Halewaiu Road. Proceed to bottom of hill and before you reach the golf course, make a LEFT onto the rocky dirt road leading into the cane grass. When you get to the beach parking area, either park there or drive into the old dairy area through the road on the left (you may need to open and close the gate). At the clearing, a green caretaker’s house will be on your right and storage sheds on your left. Use Google Maps to find the entrance to the refuge using the address 155 Halewaiu Rd, Wailuku, HI.
Maui Cultural Lands - Honokowai
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.
Hoaloha 'Aina - South Maui Volunteers
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.
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.
Participate in Pacific Whale Foundation’s marine debris citizen science project 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 in either Lahaina or Ma’alaea.