Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park participates in the local town’s 4th of July Parade, which entails the Park Rangers dressing up as the endemic plants and animals. It’s a hoot and the town absolutely loves it, which makes every second worth it. The parade was definitely a hidden local event, considering that one of the other groups marching included a Ukulele Community Group. Besides the park, the Ukulele group was probably my favorite, continuously filled with music, song, and laughter.

Jumping in joy as a Kamehameha Butterfly during the parade. Photo by Janice Wei.

We left around 7:45 am the morning of the parade and arrived to gray skies and a light mist. Rain is relatively common and celebrated in the park, considering that we live in a rainforest. The cloudy morning helped us stay cool as we ran around to greet the community on the mile-long route. Park Rangers were either in uniform or costume.  I was happy to be a Kamehameha Butterfly, an endemic butterfly to Hawai‘i. The full selection of plants and animals were: Kamehameha Butterfly, Bat, Ohia Tree, Koa Tree, and Honua Sea Turtle.

The parade was filled with fun and community engagement was high. Although I was mistaken for a moth most of the time, it didn’t dampen my spirits one bit. After all, that’s just another teaching moment for the park’s Science Communication Assistant! 😉

Our HAVO NP crew at the end of the parade! All smiling faces. Photo by Janice Wei.

MyLynn

MyLynn is currently pursuing a B.S. in Community and Regional Development and minors in Education and Religious Studies from the University of California, Davis. When she is not getting hopelessly lost in the wilderness during her backcountry excursions, MyLynn can be found flameworking reusable glass straws at her University Craft Center or picking flowers bouquets at the Student Farm. She is passionate about sustainability and environmental justice, and hopes to become an advocate for environmental protection through future involvement in governmental policy and legislation. Currently, she works as a Resident Advisor in the student dormitories, where she mentors and guides incoming first year students at UC Davis. MyLynn’s experiences gained from working with and serving the community around her has encouraged her to continue a career path centered around people and the natural environment.

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