Make a Difference on Your Vacation!
An important part of enjoying Maui – whether as a resident or visitor – is assuming the responsibility to also care for Maui. This idea is embodied in the Hawaiian concept of kuleana: if we are fortunate to enjoy Maui as our home, playground, or vacation destination, then we accept the kuleana (responsibility) to take care of the island. Whether you’re visiting for a week or a month, there are ample opportunities to get involved and give back. If you have a volunteer opportunity not listed below, please email [email protected] and we will add it to our list!
Weekly Volunteer Opportunities
A number of organizations host weekly volunteer days, making it an easy addition to your trip’s itinerary. From restoring a native Hawaiian site in the culturally significant Honokowai Valley to eradicating invasive weeds along the stunning Waihee coastline, there’s no shortage of opportunities to exercise your kuleana. In most cases, it’s best to RSVP at least 48 hours in advance with the organization.
|Monday|| Hoaloha ‘Aina|
(South Maui Volunteers)
|7:30 – 9:30am||Kihei||Help restore South Maui’s coastal dunes, maintain trails, and remove invasive species.|
|Wednesday||Volunteer Farm Day (O‘o Farm)||8:45 – 11:45am||Upcountry
|Go behind the scenes and get your hands dirty at this organic farm in Upcountry Maui. RSVP (808) 249-8811|
|Wednesday||Maui Nui Botanical Garden Weed and Pot Club||8:30am – 10:30am||150 Kanaloa Avenue in Kahului,|
right across from the War Memorial Stadium.
|Spend your morning helping the Gardens thrive through weeding and propaga-tion. Come prepared to work with covered shoes and gardening attire.|
|Wednesday and Friday||Beach Buddies Visitor Program||11am – 4pm||Maui Humane Society|
1350 Mehameha Loop
Pu’unene, HI 96784
|Visitors can offer one of the Humane Society’s chosen ‘Beach Buddies’ a day of fun out of the shelter. Each outing will start with a brief talk about safety, what to do and where to go on the island! Sign Up Online|
|Thursday||Community Farm Day (La‘a Kea Farm)||10am – Noon||North Shore/Paia
La’a Kea Farm
|Learn tropical organic farming practices on Maui’s famed North Shore. RSVP 24 hours in advance to [email protected]|
|Friday||Environmental Volunteer Days (Hawaiian Islands Land Trust)||8am – Noon||Central Maui
Waihe‘e Coastal Dunes & Wetlands
|Help restore native coastal wetlands along one of Maui’s last undeveloped coastlines.|
|Saturday||Malama Honokowai Restoration (Maui Cultural Lands)||9am – 5pm||West Maui/Lahaina
Meet at the Pu’ukoli’i “Sugar Cane Train” Station Lahaina
|A truly immersive Hawaiian cultural experience, spend the day restoring historic Honokowai Valley. Confirm participation via email|
[email protected] or call (808) 276-5593
Monthly Volunteer Opportunities
If your vacation schedule allows, don’t miss the opportunity to join one of Maui’s monthly volunteer projects (most are hosted on Saturdays). If you’re an ocean lover, dive in with the Polanui Hiu team to participate in reef fish surveys off Lahaina, or help remove marine debris with the SHARKastics program. The Friends of Haleakala National Park also hosts multi-day service learning trips, but note that advanced sign up is required.
|1st Saturday of the Month|| Coral Reef Fish Surveys|
|9am – Noon||Lahaina
393 Front Street
|Dive in and support community coral reef management with the team at Polanui Hiu in Lahaina. For more info, email [email protected]|
|1st Saturday of the Month||Haleakala National Park Volunteer Trip||7:30am – 1:30pm||Meet in Maalaea at 7am
Pacific Whale Foundation Store
|Help remove invasive species, clean up rubbish, and take part in other important volunteer activities to support a healthy park ecosystem.|
|1st Sunday of the Month|| Blue’Aina Reef Clean up||9am – 3pm||Lahaina Harbor or Ma’alaea Harbor. Check schedule.||Underwater reef clean ups and land based restoration projects, educational sessions and citizen science, that raise money and lend volunteer support to local non-profits. Registration for water-based clean ups is $30.|
|3rd Saturday of the Month||Beach Cleanup (Surfrider Maui Chapter)||9am – Noon|| Location Varies|
(View 2017 beach cleanup schedule)
|Surfrider Maui tackles the issue of marine debris each month at a different beach. Join the team and help clean Maui’s beautiful beaches!|
|4th Saturday of the Month||Kaehu Beach Cleanup (SHARKastics)||9am – Noon||Central Maui
(Drive to end of road and through gate)
|Remove rubbish from the Maui coastline, and help fill a 40-ft container full of ocean nets and hard plastics to be recycled into Adidas tennis shoes!|
|Varies||Haleakala National Park Monthly Service Trips (Friends of Haleakala)||TBD||Haleakala National Park||These 3-day, overnight service trips maintain backcountry cabins and restore native habitats. An incredible way to experience Haleakala!|
Volunteering your time and efforts – even for a few hours – can go a long ways towards preserving Maui’s cultural and natural resources. We strongly encourage you to explore the many volunteer opportunities here on Maui. Not only will volunteering feel good, you’ll also be exposed to a special side of Maui – one that many visitors don’t get to experience.
In addition to volunteer opportunities, there are also a number of environmental events and festivals hosted throughout the year. These events are educational, interactive, and fun, and showcase the efforts of local environmental organizations. Some events also center around a service project, and all are a great way to get involved with Maui’s community.
|February 10 – 24||Maui Whale Festival||9am – 6pm||Kihei
|A series of events held during Maui’s peak humpback whale season. Each occasion and activity is designed to build awareness of marine animals and their ocean habitat. Featuring engaging, fun and educational events.|
|February 16 – 19||Whale Tales||Varies||The Ritz Carlton Kapalua
The Hyatt Regency
|A weekend featuring top whale researchers, photographers, and filmmakers.Event supports Whale Trust Maui, a whale research & education nonprofit.|
$20 suggested donation
|March 10 – 11||Whale and Ocean Arts Festival||9am – 5pm||Lahaina
Banyan Tree Park (Front Street)
|Located in the heart of Lahaina Town, celebrate humpback whales with art, music, and local environmental & whale research organizations. FREE admission|
|April 22||Earth Day Festival||10am – 6pm||Kahului
Keopuolani Park Amphitheater
|Celebrate Maui’s annual Earth Day Festival with environmental organizations, activities, live music, and food vendors.|
$8 admission (kids free)
|June 16||International Surfing Day Celebration||9am – 12pm||TBD||Enjoy a beach side celebration of surfing with Maui’s local Surfrider chapter. Includes a community beach cleanup and (of course) surfing!|
|TBD||International Coastal Cleanup||TBD||TBD||Join the Maui community in an international day of marine debris removal, part of the Ocean Conservancy’s marine debris efforts. Cleanups are hosted around Maui.|
You can also learn more about Hawaiian Paddle Sports’ Malama Maui giveback program. Through this initiative, we volunteer and donate to a different environmental or community organization each month. In 2016, our Malama Maui program donated over $33,000 and 550 volunteer hours to local nonprofits.