Stewardship at the Summit

 
Paul and Jane Field, members of the Volcano Rotary Club, have been dedicated volunteer stewards of the Volcano National Park rainforest.  They will be leading an East Hawaii Rotarians work day on September 24, Saturday, chosen as the work day in celebration of National Public Lands Day.  There will be no park entrance fee on this day.  The work day is in recognition of the 100th anniversary of both Rotary in Hawaii and the park.  The task is daunting and all hands are appreciated.  Paul and Jane explained the challenge.
 

Removing Invasive Ginger Plant

The "enemy" to be removed from the rainforest understory is beautiful and fragrant, but very invasive.  This aggressive invader is the kahili ginger, or more accurately, the Himalayan ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum).  The work will involve:
  • short hike into the forest (be able to walk at least 1/4 mile);
  • bring light-weight loppers to cut the ginger about 12-16" high; herbicide will be applied to the cut ginger;
  • stack the cut stalks to mulch in place, and don't cover up stalks already cut;
  • be careful-- watch the terrain; don't poke your eye with the uluhe fern; don't step on little native plants; take a break.
It takes three years to clear the ginger.  In Year 1, the cut ginger weakens.  In Year 2, cut it again to the roots.  The forest begins to heal as native seedlings are able to establish.  In Year 3, remove remaining ginger.  No matter what, the ginger will be back.  But so will the dedicated stewards.
 
This is the fragrant, beautiful, invasive Himalayan ginger: