5,000 seedlings to reforest 3 sites on Hawai‘i Island
Local nonprofit Hawai‘i Forest Institute has received a grant to plant 5,000 seedlings at three forest restoration sites in the Kona region on Hawai‘i Island.
The first site is Keauhou Bird Conservation Center Discovery Forest, which provides service-learning opportunities for students and habitat and food for native birds. Birds cared for at the 40-acre location include the ‘alalā (extinct in the wild), palila, ‘akeke‘e and ‘akikiki.
To date, 19 acres at Keauhou Bird Conservation Center Discovery Forest are in the process of being intensively restored. The land is owned by Kamehameha Schools and is part of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s Hawai‘i Endangered Bird Conservation Program.
At the Ka‘ūpūlehu Dryland Forest – a 76-acre endangered native forest owned by Kamehameha Schools – Hawai‘i Forest Institute has already outplanted 53 different native species, including a‘ali‘i, ‘āweoweo, Ko’oko’olau, ‘ilie‘e, kulu‘ī, Māmane, ‘ōhai and ‘ōhi‘a.
The third restoration site is Hāloa ‘Āina, located in South Kona on the slopes of Mauna Loa. Hāloa ‘Āina’s sandalwood, ‘iliahi (Santalum paniculatum), is a variety of sandalwood that is endemic to Hawai‘i Island, found nowhere else in the world. These sandalwood trees grow at an elevation of 5,000 feet along with māmane, naio and acacia koa trees, with an understory of various native shrubs.
The Hawai‘i Forest Institute was formed by the Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association in 2003. The grant to plant 5,000 seedlings was awarded by the national group American Forests.