Nature talks, walks featured Saturday at Kealia Pond refuge

The Maui News

The Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge will host a family-friendly slide show and walk Saturday morning, with the activities focusing on “The Art and Science of Observing Nature,” according to an announcement.

It will be followed at 10 a.m. by a guided bird and wetlands walk and at 1 p.m. by a Hawaiian hoary bat talk.

The event also features crafts for keiki, wildlife viewing opportunities and a visitor center with interpretive displays.

The visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

Visitors meet at the center for all scheduled activities.

The refuge and visitor center are at Milepost 6 on the Maui Veterans Highway (formerly Mokulele Highway) in Kihei.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, a Kealia Pond naturalist offers an hourlong guided bird walk, with the opportunity to see migratory and native birds.

Admission is free, and visitors are encouraged to bring binoculars and water and wear sturdy walking shoes.

The refuge hosts more than 30 species of birds, including the endangered Hawaiian stilt and coot and migratory waterfowl. The refuge has walking trails and a coastal boardwalk in Maui’s largest wetland area.

Established in 1992, the wildlife refuge covers 700 acres between Kihei and Maalaea.

The refuge is open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The visitor center’s doors are open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The boardwalk is open from sunrise to 7 p.m. every day, including federal holidays.