The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) 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.
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, visit http://www.drylandforest.org/.
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.