COURTESY HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK
Haleakala Park officials have joined other groups in expanding watershed protection and growing rare and endangered plants, including the Schiedea haleakalensis. The plant is among the 189 rare endemic plants on Haleakala.
Effort expands Maui watershed protection
WAILUKU » Haleakala National Park has joined other groups to expand protection of Maui's watershed in a $2.3 million project.
The two-year National Park Centennial project calls for the park to contribute $500,000 a year and Maui Invasive Species Committee, $600,000 a year.
The project plans to fight invasive species, such as miconia and pampas grass, and grow rare and endangered species. Haleakala has 189 rare endemic plants, including 59 that grow nowhere else in the world, park officials said.
The project will help provide environmental educational curriculum to 90 classrooms through the park's Ho'ike o Haleakala program.
"This is an incredible opportunity to make a real difference in not just our national park, but all of Haleakala and the people of East Maui," park Superintendent Marilyn Parris said Friday.
Other groups involved in the project include Maui County, the East Maui Watershed Partnership, Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership, the Nature Conservancy, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Haleakala Ranch, East Maui Irrigation and Hana Ranch.
"It is the help of our partners that enriches and multiplies our efforts," Parris said. "The National Park Service cannot do it alone."
The park money came from a $25 million congressional appropriation for a centennial initiative to reinvigorate the national park and seek private matching funds.