Photos taken by Selket Kaufman

Overview

Mālama Pono is a program that allows PacWhale/PWF staff, kamaʻāina, and visitors to immerse themselves in Maui’s sacred ʻāina, culture, and community. Pacific Whale Foundations’ Conservation and Outreach team has revamped the former Volunteers on Vacation program to continue to encourage and perpetuate destination stewardship while inviting our staff and members of our community to get connected with where we call home. Through mindful visitation and behaviors, visitors and residents alike can create a deeper appreciation of the place they occupy space. If you are interested in joining us, please explore the Mālama Pono Calendar. We look forward to working alongside you in building a stronger connection to the place we call home. Upon signing up, we will send you a confirmation email. This email will include an online waiver, what to bring and wear, where to meet, what to expect, and what we expect of our participants. Some opportunities may have an additional liability waiver from our partner organization hosting the opportunity. Each opportunity will have between 3 and 15 participants and could include PWF/PacWhale staff, kamaʻāina and visitors. While each opportunity will have its own requirements, generally, closed toe shoes, sun protection in the form of long sleeves and a hat, mineral based sunscreen and a reuseable water bottle are always recommended. PWF will provide water to refill water bottles, basic first aid supplies and snacks.

Opportunities

There are a range of opportunities that will take place anywhere from mauka (the mountain) to makai (the sea). Activities can include supporting ongoing conservation efforts, outplanting native species, beach clean-ups, helping at community distribution hubs, assisting at on and off-site events, and more! If you would like to suggest an opportunity to add to our calendar, please contact us at [email protected].

When possible, transportation will be provided by PWF but you may use your personal vehicle if preferred. Per Hawaiʻi child safety seat law, all children under 10 years old or under 5 feet tall are required to be in a booster seat.
Photos taken by Selket Kaufman

Current Partners

Kīpuka Olowalu:

Kīpuka Olowalu is an organization seeking to preserve the Native Hawaiian cultural site, the Olowalu valley. Participant tasks vary depending on the Hawaiian moon calendar. Different tasks can include removing weeds and invasive plants on the property and learning about different native and endemic plants. Beyond protecting the Cultural Reserve, Kīpuka Olowalu also works to preserve the biodiversity and beauty of Olowalu Reef, a 1,000-acre reef habitat that provides food and shelter to a variety of marine species and unique coral habitat. Through proper planting and sediment mitigation techniques, Kīpuka Olowalu reduces reef stressors and helps maintain the integrity of the nearshore marine ecosystem.

Grow Some Good:

Grow Some Good is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating hands-on, outdoor learning experiences that cultivate curiosity about natural life cycles, connect students to their food sources, and inspire better nutrition choices. Their mission is to cultivate a healthy community by strengthening local agriculture and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. As they expand their community agroforest at the YMCA on Maui, we will join them in growing a greener Maui! This will include maintaining a healthy garden through necessary weeding, planting, and other small improvement projects. Occasionally there are opportunities to help with their Farm to School program where participants would assist with local school garden workdays or plant kit assembly for students.

Hua Momona Farms:

Hua Momona Farms helps provide food to those on Maui with food insecurity and educating the youth of Maui on agriculture opportunities. They are currently supplying west Maui with essential relief funding and aid from both local and global networks, looking to uplift and support recent catastrophe.

This program is funded by the PWF Maui Conservation Fund, which was created following the August 2023 fires from contributions donated from generous supporters worldwide. If you would like to fund our work, please donate here Maui Conservation Fund.