November 7, 2012
Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge Offers Free Admission on Veterans Day Weekend
Jennifer Waipa, 808-828-1413
THE KILAUEA LIGHTHOUSE RESTORATION PHASE II NEARS COMPLETION
Although the Refuge will be CLOSED on Monday, November 12 in Observance of Veteran’s Day, the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge will be open over the weekend and will waive entrance fees on Saturday and Sunday, November 10 and 11th.
Normal hours for visitors to see the refuge are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In observance of Veteran’s Day, the Refuge will be closed Monday, November 12. However, Refuge volunteers will be stationed at the Refuge overlook to provide natural history interpretation and assist visitors throughout the day.
The Refuge is also celebrating a milestone as Kilauea Lighthouse Restoration Phase II nears completion, ahead of the anticipated December deadline. Restoration overall is expected to be completed for the 100th anniversary in May 2013. Extensive restoration efforts to the Kilauea Lighthouse began in 2010 to bring the structure back to its former glory. The lighthouse is sure to remain the icon of the Kilauea community.
“I urge everyone to take the opportunity to come to Kilauea Point over the fee-free Veterans Day weekend to see the exterior of the lighthouse and the progress made so far. This is a fine example of what coming together as a community can accomplish,” invited Shannon Smith, Refuge Project Leader. The project first began with the Kilauea community when they expressed the desire to restore the lighthouse in 2002. The Kilauea Point Natural History Association (KPNHA), a nonprofit organization, launched a capital campaign in 2008 to restore the lighthouse. Thanks to the support of the community, the campaign entitled “Beacon for the Generations to Come, Ka Lama Kuhikuhi No Na Hanauna” raised over $850,000.
The first major phase of restoration involved repairing the unique cast iron roof and lantern assembly. The second phase led by contractor McMillen, LLC and working closely with local subcontractors, involves: removal of interior and exterior coatings; repairs to the concrete tower; removal of concrete blocks from where windows were formerly located; installation of new windows, corbels, and installing new doors- all to restore its historic appearance. Future phases will involve work on the 2nd order Fresnel lens; finishing measures to protect key internal components; and public safety measures to allow for more frequent tours to just above the interior Watch Room level of the lighthouse. The intent is to allow for the public to safely get closer views of the lens and beautiful vistas more often than has been allowed in the recent past, while protecting the lens level, which is the “crown jewel” of this historic structure.
To learn more about the Refuge, visit: www.fws.gov/kilaueapoint ; to learn more about KPNHA, visit www.kilaueapoint.org.