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Maui residents get rare chance to visit wildlife refuge

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Maui residents will have a rare opportunity Saturday to visit a national wildlife refuge on a weekend. 

The Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge covers 700 acres along Maui’s south-central coast and is one of the few natural wetlands remaining in Hawaii. 

It’s typically open during the daytime on weekdays. It opens on Saturdays only for special events or volunteer service projects. 

This Saturday, the Kanuimanu Pond public viewing area will be open, and visitors should be able to see the endangered Hawaiian stilt and Hawaiian coot. The public may also check out a new visitor center that opened in February. 

Refuge Manager Glynnis Nakai says the refuge hopes to attract more Maui residents by opening on Saturday. He says many people don’t realize the refuge is there.

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