Hard work will pay off for trip to Kokee State Park
If you don't mind getting dirty when you play, a trip to Kauai's Kokee State Park April 23-29 is the featured getaway posted on Wilderness Volunteers' Web site offering 46 vacations to destinations that welcome traveling volunteers.
Wilderness Volunteers partners with federal public land agencies such as the Forest Service, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management to offer memorable and meaningful volunteer vacations in some of America's most beautiful wilderness areas.
Getaways start at $239 each and early registration is encouraged. Travelers are responsible for their own transportation costs, with air fare purchased two months prior to the outing.
The Kokee project calls for removal of non-native plants and historic building repair under hot, humid conditions, with meals and park dormitory accommodations included, plus one free day for hiking and birding. The work is described as "strenuous."
Other Hawaii projects will take place at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge in June and Limahuli National Tropical Botanical Garden in October.
For more information, call 928-556-0038 or visit www.wildernessvolunteers.org.
WILDERNESS VOLUNTEERS / 2005
Wilderness Volunteers take a break from removing non-native plants at Kokee State Park.
Big Isle hosts annual chocolate festival in Kona
Chocolate lovers might want to plan ahead and arrange to be on the Big Island March 25 for the fifth annual Kona Chocolate Festival.
Day events include seminars about cacao cultivation and processing, medicinal uses for chocolate and cooking with chocolate. A gala evening event will feature a chocolate taste-off competition with awards in professional and amateur categories. Entries will be judged by local chefs and personalities, as well as by people's-choice nominations.
Amateur and professional chefs and candy makers are still being sought to participate in the event, taking place 6:30-10 p.m. at the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort. To enter your chocolatey appetizer, entree or dessert, register by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The evening gala ($35 in advance, $40 at the door) will also include a silent auction, live music, wine and champagne by the Kona Wine Market and other fine Big Island purveyors, and specialty beer by Kona Brewing Co. To purchase tickets, call 808-640-5500.