Friends Suki Bermudez of Puerto Rico, Matthew Jackson of Texas, and Jane Hoffman of Kaua`i at Capitol Hill following the Friends Academy 5. Photo courtesy of Jane Hoffman
Executive Director of KPNH Becomes Friend
Jane Hoffman, executive director for the Kilauea Point Natural History Association (KPNHA), joined 23 other ‘Friends’ from national wildlife refuges all across the United States for Friends Academy 5, sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System. The Academy was held from July 23 – 27 at the Service’s National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
Friends gained skills and knowledge in refuge planning and land acquisition, communicating with their local communities, building a diverse group of volunteers and Friends and more.
KPNHA is a nonprofit organization established in 1983 that supports the mission of the Kaua`i National Wildlife Refuge Complex with refuges at Kilauea, Hanalei and Huleia by providing funding for programs and projects. During the previous fiscal year, some of the projects and programs funded were:
- Kilauea Lighthouse Restoration Phase I: KPNHA disbursed over $270,000 during the past fiscal year for restoration work performed on the Kilauea Lighthouse. Phase I of the restoration work included repairing or replacing all of the metal work (roof, drip line, catwalk, vents, and railings).
- Refuge and Environmental Programs: Over $8,000 was provided for programs, including: Koloa Duck Tracking and Research, Volunteer Training, National Wildlife Refuge Week Sponsorship, and funding for two refuge interns.
- Education: School bus transportation funding of $2,400 was provided to Kauai school teachers for fieldtrips to the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge and other locations with similar goals and objectives. Also awarded were two $2,000 Daniel Moriarty Memorial Scholarships and two student grants totaling $1,500 to students studying in environmental fields.
“When our refuge manager, Shannon Smith, recommended me for the training. she referred to it as transformative, and it certainly exceeded my expectations,” said Hoffman. “I had the opportunity to meet other Friends group members and refuge managers to discuss not only the challenges that face us all, but the inherent rewards.
“One of my favorite speakers was Jim Kurth, chief of Refuges, who shared the sentiment that conservation is a human activity — the wildlife benefit because of what people do.”
There are more than 220 Friends organizations supporting national wildlife refuges in the United States. Refuge Friends organizations now boast more than 50,000 members nationwide, supporting the world’s most extensive network of public lands devoted to wildlife habitat and wildlife conservation.
For more information about KPNHA or a membership application, go to www.kilaueapoint.org.
For more information about the National Wildlife Refuge System, including Friends groups nationally, visit www.fws.gov/refuges.