Haleakalā National Park Celebrates Centennial Sunrise
Haleakalā National Park celebrated its 100th birthday with cultural demonstrations, music, and activities in both districts of the park over three days on July 30, 31, and Aug. 1, 2016.
At 10 a.m. on August 1, 2016 (the park’s establishment date), Superintendent Natalie Gates spoke at a public ceremony, paying tribute to the park staff, volunteers, partners, local residents, and visitors who have protected the park.
“Many, many generations cared for Haleakalā before it became a National Park. In 1916, the National Park Service joined in the stewardship of this land. We are lucky that so many of our staff, volunteers, partners, and local residents continue to share wisdom passed down from their kūpuna to help us be better stewards.” Looking ahead to the future she noted: “In our Junior Ranger programs we ask kids what they want to see in 50 years, when they come back with their grandchildren. The kids mention the silversword, nēnē, the crater, the waterfalls. Many of them want to see this dormant volcano erupt! I imagine that in 1916 the founders of the park had similar hopes—that their grandchildren would see silversword, nēnē, and other natural and cultural wonders. We can see these wonders today and I hope we will see them in the future, thanks to your continued care, support, and stewardship. Here’s to the next 100 years,” said Gates.
Park ranger Honeygirl Duman spoke of how park stewardship is akin to paddling a canoe saying, “We all paddle the canoe together. We all have jobs that keep the canoe moving forward. It takes all of us.”
The ceremony ended with Duman leading a Hawaiian blessing followed by birthday cake for those in attendance.
Talks, hikes, and other activities took place in both districts throughout the weekend.
Local band Nevah Too Late performed numerous favorites, including several songs about Kīpahulu and Haleakalā. The band also sang about the voyaging canoe Hōkūle`a, since Haleakalā has been an important place to learn traditional Polynesian navigational skills.
Cultural demonstrators and park staff also shared Hawaiian traditions. Practitioners included Patti Gomez (feather flowers); Kaliko Kaleohano (shell art); Maile Bryan (hula and `ohe kāpala or kapa stamping); Wainani Kealoha (oli and hula); Bolly Helekahi (coconut leaf weaving); and Ranger Honeygirl Duman (Hawaiian names and meanings).
During the evening of Saturday July 30, 2016, rangers and local photographers gave the public tips on sunset and night sky photography during an InstaMeet at the Haleakalā summit. At sunrise on Monday Aug. 1, 2016, visitors celebrated the centennial sunrise, marking the first sunrise of the park’s next 100 years.
The three-day celebration was supported by the Hawai`i Pacific Parks Association.
Haleakalā National Park and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park were established Aug. 1, 1916 as one unit–Hawai`i National Park–before becoming separate parks 45 years later.
On August 25, 1916, the National Park Service was established, to conserve national parks for “the enjoyment of future generations.” To further celebrate the Centennial anniversary, Maui Arts and Cultural Center, in partnership with Haleakalā National Park, will host an exhibit featuring all Hawaiian national parks from Aug. 28 to Nov. 6, 2016.
The Friends of Haleakalā National Park and the Hawai`i Pacific Parks Association are two sponsors of this exhibit.