Hawai‘i Forest Institute Awarded Funding

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The Hawai‘i Forest Institute (HFI) was recently awarded $82,500 in grant funding through the generosity of the Kaʻūpūlehu Foundation, whose mission it is to amplify Kaʻūpūlehu’s Hawaiian traditions and practices by protecting and interpreting the natural, cultural and historic resources upon which they depend.

KUPU interns and Kamehameha Schools Imi Pono students collect native seed at Kaʻūpūlehu Dryland Forest. PC: Keoki Apokolani Carter

“We are so grateful to the Kaʻūpūlehu Foundation for supporting our mission of promoting healthy and productive forests,” said HFI Executive Director Heather Simmons. “Foundation funds will help us expand and enhance our Ho‘ola Ka Makana‘ā o Ka‘ūpūlehu restoration, education and forest management efforts.”

The Ho‘ola Ka Makana‘ā o Ka‘ūpūlehu program is comprised of four strands, three outreach educational strands and one restoration strand. These four program strands are intertwined and are equally important to program outcomes. Each strand, while unique, provides curriculum that teaches the ecology of native ecosystems and integrates ideas of culture, mālama, kuleana and creative thinking. Learning opportunities are offered in multiple ways—solo, as a team, on-site, off-site, and sometimes on-line—depending on what is most appropriate to the circumstances and participants.

Konawaena High School class outplant native seedlings at Kaʻūpūlehu Dryland Forest. PC: Keoki Apokolani Carter

The program’s target population includes students from a mix of Hawai‘i schools, particularly those serving native Hawaiians as well as university students. Just a few of the many community groups that have participated in forest stewardship learning activities at Kaʻūpūlehu Dryland Forest include: Hawai‘i Youth Conservation Corps, Kamehameha Schools, Kealakehe Intermediate Nā Kahumoku, Kealakehe High, Cornell University, University of Hawai‘i-Hilo Environmental Studies, KUPU, US Forest Service, Hauoli Mau Loa, Papahānaumokuākea, Hawai‘i Community College Cultural Geography class and Honoka‘a High School.


For more information, contact Simmons at (808) 933-9411 or email [email protected].


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