Maui News

Spring Break Junior Rangers Program with ‘Ōpe‘ape‘a Researcher

March 17, 2018, 12:04 PM HST
* Updated March 17, 1:18 PM
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Endangered ‘ōpe‘ape‘a (Hawaiian Hoary bat). Photo credit Kristin Jonasson

Interested keiki are invited to earn their Junior Ranger badge, learn about the endangered ‘ōpe‘ape‘a (Hawaiian Hoary bat), and take a hike with park staff on Tuesday, March 20, 2018.

The National Park Service’s activity-based Junior Ranger Program is for children and youth to earn a Junior Ranger badge, specific to each site. The Junior Ranger motto to “Explore, Learn, and Protect!” encourages Junior Rangers to be active stewards over natural and cultural resources in national parks. There is no charge for this event.

The talk about the endangered ‘ōpe‘ape‘a will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. with bat researcher Kristin Jonasson, PhD and participants will hike on the unique biodiversity of Haleakalā from 11 a.m. to noon with park staff located at Hosmer Grove. In Kīpahulu, keiki will hike along Kūloa Point trail and learn about its history from 10 to 11 a.m. with a park ranger.

Dr. Kristin Jonasson has been studying bat ecology for the past 10 years. Her passion for bat conservation began as a field assistant on a study of the causes of bat mortality at wind energy facilities in Canada. She is currently helping to inform conservation decisions by describing the habitat needs of the ʻōpeʻapeʻa on Maui.

Fourth graders are encouraged to earn the Every Kid in a Park pass, specifically designed to engage and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates. Fourth graders earn the pass by completing activities online, printing the pass, planning the trip and heading to the chosen destination.

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The goal is to provide an opportunity for every fourth grader, and their families, to access federal public lands free of charge. The Every Kid in a Park pass is good until Aug. 31, 2018. The pass must be printed and presented; electronic copies are not accepted. The pass has a unique code and is not transferable.

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To earn the Every Kid in a Park pass, click here.

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