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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

When you think of a rainforest, what comes to mind? Many people think of rainforests as dense jungles with lots of trees. But the rainforest, like any other area is composed of many different types of geographic forms such as valleys, mountains and plains.

And let’s not forget volcanoes. 


The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, located on the big island of Hawaii, is a rainforest area that also happens to include two of the world’s most active volcanoes. The park consists of over 330,000 acres that include rainforest, lava trails, mountain cliffs, and even desert.

 Visitors to the park can see a wonderfully diverse ecosystem that includes everything from lichens and ferns and a wide variety of plants and flowers along with the dense forest many of us associate with the rainforest. Near the shoreline of the park, waves are battered against high cliffs. Even the volcanoes put on a show with fresh lava streams and clouds of steam. Travel to the southwestern side of the Kīlauea volcano and a very different picture of the park can be seen. Here the landscape consists of a dry and dusty desert.

Two of the world’s most active volcanoes-- Kīlauea and Mauna Loa—are found at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Each year, more than 1.6 million people visit the 333,000-acre park to experience the beauty and diversity of the park. Designated as both an International Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is truly one of the great treasures not only for the United States but for the world.

Something to Think About: Geographical features consist of landforms and ecosystems. Look up both these terms. Then make a list of the different landforms and ecosystems that can be found where you live.

Want to Learn More? Check out the National Park Service page on the park ; the UNESCO page on Volcanoes National Park; and the National Parks Conservation Association page here

Rainforest Kids Science Curriculum Connection: Unit 5, Chapter 1, Lesson 1, Gk-5

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