Pacific Whale Foundation offers the free program, Volunteers on Vacation, to help conservation-minded people engage in meaningful service projects to benefit Maui’s environment. Through VOV, visitors and residents have the opportunity to spend a few hours giving back to the local community while enjoying access to “off the beaten trail” locations and learning about the history and natural ecosystem of the area. Plus, participants receive a free tote bag made of recycled materials when they volunteer for three hours or more. Signing up is easy. Reserve your spot by call Pacific Whale Foundation at least 24 hours in advance: (808) 249-8811 ext. 1. Our operators are available between 6am and 9pm (HST).
Participate in Pacific Whale Foundation’s marine debris citizen science research by selecting a beach of your choosing, cleaning up the debris and filling out a datasheet, recording the items collected for proper disposal or recycling. 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 (recycled grain bag, datasheet) at Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Stores or participating retailers. Learn more about the Coastal Marine Debris Monitoring Program.
Offered on the first and third Saturday of each month
Haleakalā is a place unlike any other on Earth. As a volunteer, you’ll receive free transportation to the summit of Haleakalā and free admission to Haleakalā National Park where 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. Transportation is provided from Pacific Whale Foundation Ocean Store in Ma’alaea (meet at 7:30am on Saturday) and the Tavares Community Center in Pukalani (meet at 8am). This volunteer activity takes approximately seven 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.
Offered weekly on Fridays
Visit Waihe’e Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge, a remarkable coastal area rich in Hawaiian history and bird watching. Remove invasive plant species and clear weeds and brush, thereby helping to restore critical native wildlife habitat while preserving a significant cultural site once populated with two thriving Hawaiian villages. The project runs from 8am to 12pm. Meet at the Waihe’e Refuge located off of Halewaiu Road. Bring water, sunscreen, bug repellent and a hat (for sun protection) and wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Snacks and cold drinks are provided. Visit the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust website.
Offered two select Mondays a month
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 with locations posted weekly on our partner’s website, where you can also sign up for regular notices. Visit the South Maui Volunteers website.
Offered weekly on Saturdays
Volunteer with Malama Honokowai and enjoy experiencing Honokowai Valley, a beautiful, well-hidden area that’s closed to the public. See Hawaiian archaeological sites where 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 9am to 2pm. Meet at 1 Pu‘ukoli‘i Rd (Ka‘anapali). Bring water, snacks, lunch, sunscreen and bug repellent. Please wear long pants, closed-toe shoes and a t-shirt. Visit the Maui Cultural Lands website.
Offered weekly on Wednesdays
Lend a hand with farm chores at a beautiful organic farm in the misting forest of Waipoli in Upcountry Maui. A unique and multi-faceted operation, O’o Farm features 8.5 acres that sustain numerous crops developed from virgin land. This project work takes place between 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 Avenue intersection. Haleakala Highway becomes Kula Highway 37. Proceed approximately 5-6 miles past Longs Drug Store 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 a cattle guard and arrive at Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, you’ve gone too far.
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 comprises mostly non-native shrub vegetation with a network of trails and surrounded by cliffs affording 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, which includes recreational time for exploration. Bring gloves, hand tools, water, hat, lunch and sturdy shoes.
To learn more or sign up click here or call Pacific Whale Foundation at:
(808) 249-8811 ext. 1
Open daily, 6am – 9pm HST
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 sandbag corridors and partake in other fun stream restoration activities 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 Rd. in Lahaina by 8:30am. Park outside the gated entrance to the Ka’anapali Coffee Farms. From there, Coral Reef Alliance will safely carpool you via truck to the site, which requires a 5-10 minute drive over unpaved and uneven terrain. The planting location is in the mountain’s mid-slope in the Wahikuli watershed.
For reservations call Pacific Whale Foundation at:
(808) 249-8811 ext. 1
Open daily, 6am – 9pm HST
Learn about other ways you can get involvedYOU CAN HELP
UPDATED 9/24/20 -- We eagerly welcome visitors back to the islands as quarantine restrictions lift Oct. 15 for those following the state’s pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirements.