Business

HFI’s MAHALO ‘AINA Raises $60K

January 19, 2016, 4:29 PM HST
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Nearly $60,000 has been raised through the Hawai’i Forest Institute’s MAHALO ‘AINA: Give Back to the Forest Initiative.

The public-private initiative aims to protect and perpetuate Hawai’i’s forests and has raised funds through its grassroots fundraising efforts.

A recent donation made in memory of Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi, founders of KTA Super Stores and K. Taniguchi, Ltd., gave the effort a $10,000 boost.

Hawai’i Forest and Trails owners Rob and Cindy Pacheco have also donated a total of $11,000.

“We’re proud to support HFI’s MAHALO ‘AINA Initiative and projects. Not only do they have a lasting impact on the sites managed, even more importantly, they play a critical role in building awareness of our connection with the forests of Hawai‘i,” said Rob Pacheco, who is also a MAHOLA ‘AINA committee chairperson. “Through that awareness comes understanding, and with understanding comes stewardship.”

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In addition to planting trees, the Initiative also supports ecosystem management, forest stewardship opportunitie,s and educational programs at project sites throughout the state.

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“We are happy to be afforded the opportunity to support HFI’s MAHALO ‘AINA programs, whose important work in the protection and perpetuation of Hawai`i forest ecosystems will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come,” said Toby Taniguchi, President & Chief Operating Officer of  KTA Super Stores and MAHALO ‘AINA committee member.

Money raised will support propagation, outplanting and long-term care of plantings, site maintenance, cultural and environmental education programs, coordination, and promotional activities.

In addition funds are helping to support Ka‘ūpūlehu Dryland Forest, La‘i ‘Ōpua Dryland Habitat Preserve, Pana‘ewa Zoo Discovery Forest, Pālamanui Dry Forest Preserve, ‘Āina Mauna Christmas Tree Demonstration Project, Keauhou Bird Conservation Center Discovery Forest, Hawai’i Wood Guild and Keauhou Bird Conservation Center Discovery Forest, Honolulu Zoo Children’s Discovery Forest, Hawai’i’s Woodshow, and Na Lā‘au o Hawai‘i on O‘ahu, and is in the exploration stages of working with the Maui Bird Conservation Center Discovery Forest on Maui.

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“The support of the Taniguchi and Pacheco ohanas are significant and demonstrate their commitment to giving back to the forest through the MAHALO ‘AINA Initiative. We are grateful that they have joined us in our mission of promoting healthy and productive forests,” said Heather Simmons, Executive Director of HFI and the Hawai’i Forest Industry Association.

HFI initially launched the MAHALO ‘AINA Initiative with a grant from the Hawai’i Community Foundation.

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