KHON2’s Wake Up 2day and Living808 present a special series from the Island of Hawaii. Trini Kaopuiki went exploring and found the joys of a staycation on Hawaii’s largest island.
Over the past seven years, the nonprofit Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative and sustainable forestry company Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods (HLH) have planted more than 340,000 rare and endemic trees across nearly 1,000 acres of denuded pastureland on Hawaii Island.
Native trees, which include koa, ‘ōhi‘a, māmane, naio, ko‘oko‘olau, kūkaenēnē and ‘iliahi, have re-established an entire native ecosystem on the slopes of Mauna Kea, forming the only Legacy Forest in the world.
According to HLH COO Darrell Fox, this was made possible through thousands of individual tree sponsorships and support from some of the state’s largest businesses and organizations.
Jeff Dunster, Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative executive director, says people can witness the rebirth of a forest by participating in their award-winning Hawaiian Legacy Tour, which in 2013 began offering one-of-a-kind koa tree planting tours in the Hawaiian Legacy Forest.
A portion of the proceeds from each tree planting is donated to charitable organizations in Hawaii and throughout the world.