REPORT FROM THE PARK SERVICE – Hawaii National Park, HAWAI‘I – Today, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park turns 96 years old, and the park’s Centennial Anniversary is just four years away. Hawai‘i Volcanoes was the 15th park to join the National Park Service, which now has 397 national parks – including a total of eight in Hawai‘i.
Established on Aug. 1, 1916, the same year as the National Park Service itself was founded, Hawai‘i National Park, as it was called then, also comprised Haleakalā National Park on Maui. In 1961, Haleakalā became its own separate national park.
“There have been many positive changes and landmark events over the last 96 years at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “And this year, there are many special events to celebrate.”
On Aug. 27, the United States Mint will officially release the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park quarter, as part of its America the Beautiful Quarters Program®. But the first day anyone can get the quarter will be at a public ceremony and coin exchange Aug. 29, held at the park from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. The evening before, on Aug. 28, the park will host a coin forum as an After Dark in the Park program, for coin enthusiasts and other interested members of the public. The event starts at 7 p.m. in the Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium. Both events are free, but park entrance fees may apply.
This year also marks the 40th anniversary of UNESCO’s World Heritage Program, and the 25th anniversary of the 1987 inscription of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park as a World Heritage Site. UNESCO designated the park as a World Heritage Site for its superlative attributes of universal value important to the common heritage of humanity – in particular, the biological, cultural and geologic resources of the park. Special commemorative events and presentations will soon be announced.