Kamehameha Schools acquires Kahuku Ranch in Ka‘ū
Kamehameha Schools (KS) has acquired 656 acres of the former Kahuku Ranch near Nā‘ālehu, expanding the institution’s land portfolio along the southern tip of Hawaiʻi Island.
The investment consolidates ownership of area lands that include adjacent KS legacy lands and also provides for potential future agriculture or community education presence, school officials stated in a press release Tuesday, Jan. 4. The purchase includes multiple structures such as a central lodge, seven ranch homes, a ranch office, corral, scale house, fenced pastures, storage facilities, covered base yard, and paved roads.
“Through responsible stewardship of ‘āina, we support vibrant, resilient communities where keiki learn and thrive,” stated Jamee Miller, director of KS’ ‘Āina Ulu, which works with KS ʻāina tenants and partners on impactful outcomes that contribute to community resiliency. “Through planning and collaboration with the community, there is an opportunity to link educational, economic and community resources while forging strong partner networks and relationships.”
According to the press release, the newly purchased property abuts KS lands at Waiʻahukini and provides access to a large swath of KS’ Pākini ahupuaʻa. Additionally, this large property also has highway frontage and access to unique mauka and makai cultural and natural landscapes.
School officials say the ranch could support agricultural and food systems activities such as securing a lessee to raise livestock or grow fruit trees.
“KS’ immediate focus is on properly securing and stewarding the ‘āina and facilities,” the release states. “While there are no set long-term plans, KS will be carefully assessing all options to create a positive resilient community impact.”