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Maui's Rainforest Walk - Vacation Meets Volunteer Opportunity

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Looking for an island getaway? But, not just a tropical paradise...don't you want to help protect nature's natural splendor as well? Now you can. On your next visit to Maui, hook up with the Hawai'i Nature Center and volunteer your time to eradicate invasive species and restore ancient taro patches.

The Nature Center has turned their tourist-oriented Rainforest Walk into a volunteer opportunity, so tourists can experience the beautify of Hawai'i and help maintain the environment at the same time.

If you're interested, here are the volunteer details from the Honolulu Star Bulletin:

The Hawaii Nature Center-Iao Valley welcomes volunteer help year-round for a variety of service projects, ranging from eradicating invasive species to restoring ancient taro patches. School and community groups of between six and 44 people can be accommodated in its on-site lodge, which has seven rooms, each with six or seven bunk beds and a private bathroom.

Volunteer programs are customized, so any number of days can be reserved. (The usual is three to seven days.) Rates vary, depending on the group's size, type, length of stay, program content and recreational activities. There's an optional charge of $44 per person per day for food (three meals daily), and it's recommended that reservations be made at least two weeks in advance. Call (888) 244-6503 or e-mail bookmaui@hawaiinaturecenter.org.