Hawai‘i Forest Institute Receives $172,262 for Native Dryland Support
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs awarded Hawai‘i Forest Institute $172,262 over two years to tend, honor and grow a place of peace and safety for the native dryland lama forest of Kaʻūpūlehu.
The land grant funding will assist Hawai‘i Forest Institute with its “Aloha ‘Āina. Aloha Kaʻūpūlehu. Aloha Wao Lama.” program to foster restorative kinship relationships between community and ʻāina, utilizing educational stewardship, traditional ecological knowledge, and contemporary and institutional scientific methods.
OHA recently approved $6 million in grants over the next two fiscal years to programs benefitting the Native Hawaiian community.
Hawai‘i Forest Institute was one of 23 organizations receiving grant funding to help meet its Strategic Plan priorities relating to housing, income, health, education and culture. The funds will be disbursed for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.
“We are extremely grateful to OHA for supporting ecology forest restoration and educational programming including our ‘Aloha ‘Āina. Aloha Kaʻūpūlehu. Aloha Wao Lama.’,” said Hawai‘i Forest Institute Executive Director Heather Simmons. “These valuable funds help continue the stewardship work at Kaʻūpūlehu and foster active, accountable and sustainable relationships for all community stakeholders.”
The long-term mission of the Kaʻūpūlehu project is for people to feel connected and committed to perpetuating a functioning native landscape, its genealogical stories and multiple truths, and treating each other with kindness and respect.
The vision for Kaʻūpūlehu is to become a healthy landscape of plenty, alive with native plants, bird song and history that will be tended and cherished by many.
Kaʻūpūlehu is one of 23 traditional ahupua‘a (or land divisions) in the kekaha region of North Kona.
To learn more about the unique ecology, history and culture of Hawaii’s dryland forests, go online.
Other funders of the restoration and education program at Kaʻūpūlehu Dryland Forest include landowner Kamehameha Schools, Dorrance Family Foundation, Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress (WCC) Climate Fund, Hawai‘i Community Foundation FLEX-Arthur Lawrence Mullaly Fund, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Kūkulu Ola Program, and American Forests.
About the Hawai‘i Forest Institute
The Hawai‘i Forest Institute (HFI) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization formed by the Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association (HFIA) in 2003. HFI’s mission is to promote the health and productivity of Hawai‘i’s forests through forest management, educational programs, information dissemination, and support for scientific research. In addition to “Aloha ‘Āina. Aloha Kaʻūpūlehu. Aloha Wao Lama.”, the other HFIA and HFI projects include the Mahalo ‘Āina: Give Back to the Forest Initiative, which supports restoration and outreach efforts at Pālamanui Dry Forest Preserve, La‘i‘Ōpua Dryland Habitat Preserve, Pana‘ewa Zoo Discovery Forest, Keauhou Bird Conservation Center Discovery Forest, Honolulu Zoo Children’s Discovery Forest, and ‘Āina Mauna Christmas Tree Demonstration Project.