Featured articles

  • Read HILT’s Latest Newsletter
  • Renowned Poet & Wife Achieve Life Dream Through Conservation
  • Hawaiian Islands Land Trust Earns National Recognition
  • HILT Conserves Additional Land with Its Kīpuka Mosaic Project on Hawaiʻi Island
  • HILT’s First Public Preserve on O‘ahu

Read HILT’s Latest Newsletter

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Membership Newsletter   |   Volume Four   |   Number Two   |   Fall 2014

Renowned Poet &

Wife Achieve Life

Dream Through

Conservation

When W. S. Merwin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. Poet Laureate and resident of Maui, came upon a parcel of land in the small valley of Pe‘ahi Stream in Ha‘ikū, Maui in the late 1970’s, he found an agricultural wasteland with the soil decimated and eroded by a failed pineapple plantation.  Merwin set about a nearly 40-year journey to give back to the land, cultivating and creating a lush botanical garden, which today has become a dense forest of palm trees.  Hand planting seedling-by-seedling, tree-by-tree, day-by-day along with his wife, Paula, W. S. Merwin restored the natural environment, transforming a once-barren space into one of the largest and most extensive private collections of palm trees in the entire world.

The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, along with the non-profit organizations The Merwin Conservancy and Copper Canyon Press, announced on October 14, 2014 the permanent protection of the Merwin Palm Collection near Ha‘ikū, Maui with a Hawaiian Islands Land Trust Conservation Easement.

Click HERE to read HILT’s Fall 2014 Newsletter.

Save What You Love About Hawai‘i!

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You can help keep more wahi pana, special places, in Hawai‘i healthy and inviting for generations to come.  With one simple gift today, you can save the Hawai‘i we know and love – one wahi pana at a time.

Click HERE to make your year-end gift to Hawaiian Islands Land Trust.

 

HILT’s O‘ahu Efforts Gain Momentum
HILT completed the purchase of the near 10-acre Maunawila Heiau property for permanent conservation in July of this year.
Conservation Collaboration Turns Into Students’ Passionate Ownership
In recognition of Earth Day on April 22nd this year, HILT and Kihei Charter School signed a Conservation Collaboration Agreement.
A Most Magical Place Protected Forever
Fran knew she wanted to protect those magical trees and the land they grew on, so in 2014, she donated a perpetual conservation easement over her land to HILT.
HILT Executive Director, Ted Clement, discusses HILT’s renewed National Accreditation awarded by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.  HILT’s O‘ahu efforts, conservation collaboration with Kihei Charter School, and HILT’s new addition to its Kipuka Mosaic Project are also discussed.

About Umeke Kā‘eo: 

Between meals Hawaiians would hang their calabash, full with poi and other foods, in an intricately made hanging net. They depended on these two items, the net and calabash, to keep their stores of food and water safe and unspoiled. ‘Umeke Kā‘eo, literally a well-stocked calabash, represents bounty and sustenance, not only for the physical body, but also for the mind and spirit. If the bowl is full, we are nourished. Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is committed to land conservation in Hawai‘i. Protecting the land that sustains us—there’s food for thought.
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Renowned Poet & Wife Achieve Life Dream Through Conservation

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When W. S. Merwin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. Poet Laureate and resident of Maui, came upon a parcel of land in the small valley of Pe‘ahi Stream in Ha‘ikū, Maui in the late 1970’s, he found an agricultural wasteland with the soil decimated and eroded by a failed pineapple plantation. Merwin set about a nearly 40-year journey to give back to the land, cultivating and creating a lush botanical garden, which today has become a dense forest of palm trees. Hand planting seedling-by-seedling, tree-by-tree, day-by-day along with his wife, Paula, W. S. Merwin restored the natural environment, transforming a once-barren space into one of the largest and most extensive private collections of palm trees in the entire world.

The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, along with the non-profit organizations The Merwin Conservancy and Copper Canyon Press, announced on October 14, 2014 the permanent protection of the Merwin Palm Collection near Ha‘ikū, Maui with a Hawaiian Islands Land Trust Conservation Easement. This announcement is the culmination of several years of collaborative work by the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, The Merwin Conservancy, Copper Canyon Press and Mr. and Mrs. W.S. Merwin, to save and preserve forever what has become one of the great private palm collections known to exist anywhere on Earth.

“From the start, thirty-some years ago, Paula and I have hoped to be able to save this bit of the wrecked land and valley of Pe‘ahi Stream. To see a fully organized and legally expressed Conservation Easement take form is a reassurance and a great joy to the both of us,” said W.S. Merwin upon signing the permanent conservation documents.

Set on nineteen acres on Maui’s north shore, the Merwin Palm Collection boasts nearly 3,000 individual palm trees, representing over 400 taxonomic species, more than 125 unique genera and 800 different horticultural varieties. According to experts at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens, the collection is “a living treasure house of palm DNA.” This significant botanical and horticultural assemblage is now preserved forever through a perpetual Conservation Easement held by the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust. The Land Trust has permanently protected over 17,000 acres of land throughout the State of Hawai‘i.

Ted Clement, Hawaiian Islands Land Trust’s Executive Director, stated, “We are deeply honored to have worked with W.S. Merwin and his wife Paula so they could achieve a life dream: the perpetual protection of their beloved palm forest. W.S. Merwin’s writings have inspired me over the years in my conservation career, so it was especially meaningful helping the Merwins save their land. With the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust’s permanent Conservation Easement in place, we look forward to working with the terrific team of The Merwin Conservancy and the Merwin Family on the long-term stewardship of this land. We thank the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust’s supporters for helping make valuable land conservation projects like this possible.”

“The Merwin Conservancy is proud to stand today with the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, Copper Canyon Press and the Merwin Family to announce the permanent protection of the Merwin Palm Collection, saving the palms and the land from any future development, forever,” said Conservancy Executive Director, Jason Denhart. “The Land Trust and their team of conservation experts are great partners, and we look forward to working with them to steward and oversee this amazing palm forest, which is truly Maui’s version of Walden Pond.”

The Merwin Conservancy is the Maui-based non-profit organization charged with the future management, maintenance and expansion of the Merwin Palm Collection in partnership with Hawaiian Islands Land Trust. The Conservancy also works in partnership with Copper Canyon Press, the non-profit publisher of W.S. Merwin’s poetry, to advance the poet’s literary legacy and his goal to create a Merwin Fellowship program to support the next generation of poets, writers and artists.

Established in 2010, the Conservancy recently completed a years-long project with the National Tropical Botanical Gardens and world-renowned palm expert, Sir Dr. John Dransfield of the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, to identify, tag, catalog and map each and every palm tree within the Merwin Collection. A scientific database has now been created featuring detailed taxonomic information about each individual palm specimen, as well as its exact location within the forest using Global Positioning Systems and Google Earth technology. This database and the palm collection will eventually be made available to the academic and botanical community for the future scientific study of the palm species.

Appointed United States Poet Laureate by the Library of Congress in 2010, William Stanley Merwin has a career that has spanned seven decades. A poet, translator, gardener and environmental activist, Merwin has become one of the most widely read and honored poets in America. For more biographical information, http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/w-s-merwin and http://www.merwinconservancy.org/about-w-s-merwin

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Photo Credit: The Merwin Conservancy “Lush Palms”

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Hawaiian Islands Land Trust Earns National Recognition

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[Wailuku, Hawaiʻi] – The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (“HILT”) has achieved renewed land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.

“The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust takes its job of protecting paradise seriously and that is why we take Accreditation seriously.  Accreditation makes us stronger so that we can protect our paradisiacal lands long-term to sustain current and future generations,” says Ted Clement, Executive Director for the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust.  “I want to thank our Board of Directors, Staff, Island Councils, and other supporters for helping make this great accomplishment possible.”

The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the first nationally accredited land trust in Hawai‘i, with a mission to protect the lands that will sustain us for current and future generations.  HILT has conserved over 17,000 acres to date, via perpetual Conservation Easements and fee simple ownership, on a number of properties with various conservation values important to residents and visitors alike.  The organization takes a uniquely Hawaiian and holistic approach to land conservation.  We conserve lands that enable Hawai‘i’s long-term well-being, lands with agricultural resources, wildlife habitats, water resource areas, cultural and historical values, scenic vistas and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Hawaiian Islands Land Trust was awarded renewed accreditation this August and is one of only 280 land trusts from across the country that are now accredited. Accredited land trusts are authorized to display a seal indicating to the public that they meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. The seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation.

“Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is one of the first land trusts to achieve renewed accreditation, a significant achievement for the land trust and significant major milestone for the accreditation program. They are an important member of the 280 accredited land trusts that protect more than half of the 20,645,165 acres currently owned in fee or protected by a conservation easement held by a land trust,” said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. “Accreditation renewal, which must be completed every five years, provides the public with an assurance that accredited land trusts continue to meet exceedingly high standards for quality.”

Each land trust that achieved renewed accreditation submitted extensive documentation and underwent a rigorous review. “Through accreditation renewal land trusts are part of an important evaluation and improvement process that verifies their operations continue to be effective, strategic and in accordance with strict requirements,” said Van Ryn. “Accredited organizations have engaged citizen conservation leaders and improved systems for ensuring that their conservation work is permanent.”

According to the Land Trust Alliance, conserving land helps ensure clean air and drinking water; safe, healthy food; scenic landscapes and views; recreational places; and habitat for the diversity of life on earth. In addition to health and food benefits, conserving land increases property values near greenbelts, saves tax dollars by encouraging more efficient development, and reduces the need for expensive water filtration facilities. Across the country, local citizens and communities have come together to form more than 1,700 land trusts to save the places they love. Community leaders in land trusts throughout the country have worked with willing landowners to save over 47 million acres of farms, forests, parks and places people care about, including land transferred to public agencies and protected via other means. Strong, well-managed land trusts provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources, and safeguard the land through the generations.

About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing land trust organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and that strive for continuous improvement. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. See a complete list of all recently accredited land trusts online at http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/newsroom/press-releases. More information on the accreditation program is available on the Commission’s website, www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

About The Land Trust Alliance

The Land Trust Alliance, of which Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is a member, is a national conservation group that works to save the places people love by strengthening conservation throughout America. It works to increase the pace and quality of conservation by advocating favorable tax policies, training land trusts in best practices and working to ensure the permanence of conservation in the face of continuing threats. The Alliance publishes Land Trust Standards and Practices and provides financial and administrative support to the Commission. It has established an endowment to help ensure the success of the accreditation program and keep it affordable for land trusts of all sizes to participate in accreditation. More information can be found at www.landtrustalliance.org.

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HILT Conserves Additional Land with Its Kīpuka Mosaic Project on Hawaiʻi Island

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Fran Jackson, a long-time resident of Volcano, has donated a perpetual conservation easement to the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (“HILT”) over 1.4431 acres of her property in Volcano, Hawai‘i.  The property consists of 5 lots which are contiguous and forested with native species such as ‘Ōhi‘a.   Fran’s family purchased land in this area in 1936.  It was young Fran’s dream of protecting this special place one day and the completion of the conservation easement fulfills her dream.  Her donation brings the total number of conservation easements secured by HILT in its “Kīpuka Mosaic Project” for the important Volcano area to five.

Fran and her partner Jean will continue to live near the protected property with the knowledge that their gift will allow this special area to remain accessible to the wildlife and plants that have also made their home there.   This now protected land is part of a larger effort by HILT and community members in Volcano to protect “Kīpuka” or small oases of intact forest canopy in an area that is increasingly being developed.  These oases provide green corridors for birds, butterflies and other insects to use while moving around the forest and onto adjacent protected lands such as Volcanoes National Park, Kahauale‘a Natural Area and Ola‘a Forest Reserve.

HILT has been working with a group of landowners to preserve as much of the forest canopy as possible for the use of native birds and other species that move back and forth along the flank of Mauna Loa.  This project is called the “Kīpuka Mosaic” and it is a grassroots conservation initiative that has brought together many small landowners, professional resource managers, and HILT to help ensure the survival of rare flora and fauna, especially native birds, along the southern flanks of the massive Mauna Loa Volcano.   Three large protected areas – Volcanoes National Park, Kahauale‘a Natural Area and the Ola‘a Forest Reserve – are divided by huge and partially undeveloped subdivisions that have the potential to fragment the connections between these important protected areas. HILT’s Kīpuka Mosaic Project aims to secure numerous conservation easements within these potentially fragmenting subdivisions so to help provide a continuum of habitat for native flora and fauna.

“On behalf of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, I want to thank Fran Jackson for her long-term vision, leadership and generosity.  She has helped us add another perpetual green patch to our conservation quilt in the Volcano area of Hawai‘i Island, known as our Kīpuka Mosaic Project.  I also want to acknowledge and thank our Acquisitions Specialist/Hawai‘i Island Director, Janet Britt, for her hard work on this project,” said Ted Clement, HILT’s Executive Director.

The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the first nationally accredited land trust in Hawai‘i, with a mission to protect the lands that will sustain us for current and future generations.  HILT has conserved over 17,000 acres to date, via perpetual Conservation Easements and fee simple ownership, on a number of properties with various conservation values important to residents and visitors alike.  The organization takes a uniquely Hawaiian and holistic approach to land conservation.  We conserve lands that enable Hawai‘i’s long-term well-being, lands with scenic views, agricultural resources, wildlife habitats, water resource areas, cultural and historical values, and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Photo credit: Janet Britt

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HILT’s First Public Preserve on O‘ahu

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Today, July 3, 2014, the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (“HILT”) is pleased to announce that it has completed the acquisition of the  Maunawila property, which is about 9 acres, in Hauʻula on Oʻahu.  This property will become HILT’s first public preserve on Oʻahu.

HILT purchased the Maunawila property from the McGregor ʻOhana.  It was originally bought by Louise Aoe McGregor, as a homestead, on August 25, 1906 from the Territory of Hawaiʻi.  Her husband, Daniel Pamawaho McGregor Sr., was born and raised in Hauʻula.  His grandfather Kalimahaʻalulu had been a konohiki (overseer) of an ancient land division there.  Mrs. McGregor taught and served as a principal at the Hauʻula Elementary School.

The couple and their children lived at Maunawila for about a decade.  After a fire destroyed their home, they moved to Honolulu and then to Kaluanui, a valley in Koʻolauloa adjacent to Hauʻula.  Subsequent generations of McGregor descendants inherited Maunawila but chose not to live there.  Thus, the property remained unoccupied from the 1920s to the present.  “We believe that our grandparents would be very honored to have this ʻāina shared with the entire community as an educational and cultural resource for the benefit of current and future generations,” said Lurline McGregor, grand-daughter of Louise and Daniel McGregor.

The Maunawila Heiau is one of the last remaining relatively intact heiau in the Koʻolauloa region.  In recent years, members of the McGregor ʻOhana, the Hauʻula Community Association and the Koʻolauloa Hawaiian Civic Club and BYHU faculty and students have worked with archaeologist Rosanna Thurman to clear overgrown vegetation.  According to Thurman, “Only sparse information was known of Maunawila Heiau at the beginning of the project.  However, once we began removing brush, a roughly 1,000 square meter heiau consisting of two platform terraces was found.  The surface of the heiau is well preserved with stone paving, alignments, and discrete stone features.  The heiau contains characteristics which are similar to other island chains of the Pacific, yet unique in the Hawaiian Islands, including cut and dressed slabs of coralline beach rock.  The site has been mapped in detail and limited excavations reveal the heiau was built in stages beginning around AD 1500.  Through involvement with the community and nearby schools and universities, the heiau has been a wonderful teaching tool for generating knowledge of Hawaiian culture and history as well as supporting appreciation and respect for the land.”  Moreover, oral history indicates the heiau was likely a healing temple.

HILT is collaborating with the Hauʻula Community Association and the Koʻolauloa Hawaiian Civic Club to develop plans for the creation of a public preserve on the property.  For the past three years, the two community groups have been at the forefront of stewarding the property, hosting community work days at the heiau once a month.  “Maunawila Heiau is a source of inspiration.  As our community works to preserve Maunawila Heiau, its spirit heals us,” said Dotty Kelly-Paddock, President of the Hauʻula Community Association.  According to Ululani Bierne-Keʻawe, President of the Koʻolauloa Hawaiian Civic Club, all the work being done at the heiau reflects the saying, “Lawe I ka maʻalea a ke kūʻonoʻono.  Take the wisdom and make it deep.”  HILT will now carefully work to design infrastructure for the preserve (trails, interpretive signage, parking, etc.), raise funds for such infrastructure and then install it.  Thereafter, the preserve will be opened to the public so more people can connect with the land and HILT’s land conservation work.

HILT’s Executive Director, Ted Clement, stated, “Many people helped make this project possible, including members of the Hauʻula Community Association and the Koʻolauloa Hawaiian Civic Club, and we would like to thank everyone, especially the McGregor ʻOhana.  The Legacy Lands Conservation Program of the State of Hawaiʻi and the Clean Water and Natural Lands Fund of the City and County of Honolulu provided the funding which enabled the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust to purchase this important land.  Thus, we wish to thank everyone involved with those programs, and especially Governor Neil Abercrombie, Mayor Kirk Caldwell, City Council Chair Ernie Martin and the rest of the Council.  I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of three of our staff members on this project, Janet Britt, Scott Fisher and Tina Aiu, and a HILT Oʻahu Island Council member, Cynthia Rezentes.”

The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit, and the first land trust in Hawaiʻi to receive national accreditation.  The mission of HILT is to conserve the lands that will sustain us for current and future generations.  To date, HILT has conserved over 17,000 acres on a number of properties with various conservation values (agricultural resources and fresh local foods, wildlife habitat and biodiversity, beautiful scenic vistas that keep Hawaiʻi a desirable place to live, work and visit, outdoor recreation areas that keep people healthy and connected to nature, cultural and historic resources that connect us to our past, and water resources that provide clean drinking water) important to residents and visitors alike.

 

Photo: Franz Schmutzer

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Mahalo To Everyone Who Joined Us Out On The ‘Āina For HILT’s Free Family Picnic!

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Mahalo to all who attended HILT’s Free Family Picnic this past Saturday at our Waihe‘e Coastal Dunes & Wetlands Refuge.  From the amazing food, great cultural demonstrations, local music, and activities, the event was fun-filled and successful!

The picnic was filled with people connecting with each other, HILT, and the land.  This year’s picnic, attended by over 250 people, was about double the size of last year’s picnic.

A big mahalo to our picnic sponsor:


In addition, we would like to extend a sincere mahalo to all of the activity contributors & many volunteers.
We look forward to another successful picnic next year!

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RSVP today for HILT’s Free Family Picnic at the Waihe‘e Refuge!

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Come to the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust’s Waihe‘e Coastal Dunes & Wetlands Refuge on
Saturday, June 28, 2014 and enjoy a day of fun & relaxation under the sun!  Live music, free Hawaiian food, traditional Hawaiian craft demonstrations such as kapa and ahuawa, & hikes around the wetlands will be provided or simply enjoy a day on the beach on a conserved refuge!

Mahalo to our Picnic Sponsor:

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Picnic flyer 2014

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Kihei Charter School Students Work to Become Members of HILT!

Kihei Charter School Students Selling Their Art for HILT Memberships

Kihei Charter School students sold their beautiful artwork this past Friday at the Fourth Friday celebrations in Kihei so as to raise money for the students to become members of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust per the Conservation Collaboration Agreement signed between the School and Land Trust on Earth Day.  The kids did an awesome job and inspired the people at the Fourth Friday celebrations.  These kids are working hard to help ensure they inherit a healthy and beautiful environment.

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HILT Collaborates with Kihei Charter School

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On Earth Day this year, the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust and the Kihei Charter School signed an innovative Conservation Collaboration Agreement.  Part of that Agreement was completed last week when HILT staff gave a land conservation presentation to the students at their school.  The next part of the Agreement started today when the students began removing invasive plant species from our Waihee Coastal Dunes & Wetlands Refuge.  Check out the two piles of removed invasive plants in the photo.  Today, the students also collected driftwood to begin making natural mobiles to sell at Fourth Friday in Kihei so that the students can buy HILT memberships later this year, the third part of the Agreement, and show their support for land conservation and a green future for themselves.  Mahalo Kihei Charter School!!!

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Mahalo For Your Support of E Mālama ‘Āina Kākou: Party For the Land!

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Hawaiian Islands Land Trust would like to send out a heartfelt MAHALO

to everyone involved in making its first-ever O‘ahu Gala,

E Mālama ‘Āina Kākou: Party For the Land, a huge success!

 

Mahalo to our Honorary Event Chair, Mary Philpotts McGrath, &

Event Committee Members, Donna Howard, Helen Nielsen, & McD Philpotts.

Mahalo to Peter Merriman, Chef Todd Constantino & his staff at Monkeypod Ko Olina.

 

Thank you to our Generous Sponsors:

Mu‘o Sponsors
Mary Philpotts McGrath (2)

James Campbell Company LLC

Mark & Diane Hastert ~ James & Priscilla Growney

Kapi‘olani Marignoli

Peter & Luanna McKenney

Kupu Sponsors

Sam & Laurie Ainslie

Donna Howard ~  Leighton & Linda Taylor

Alexander & Baldwin, Inc.

Kākou

Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing

Kamehameha Schools

First Wind Energy

Keith & Renee Ogata

Hawai‘i Life Real Estate Brokers (2)

Helen Nielsen & Jonathan Starr

Hawaiian Airlines

Pūlama Lāna‘i

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HILT supporters reveled in the amazing music by Kapena!

Awesome volunteers helped HILT’s first O‘ahu gala run smoothly!

Lanikuhonua, Ko‘olina served as a beautiful setting for HILT’s Party for the ‘āina!

 

We would also like to extend our sincere appreciation to the businesses and individuals for their contributions to the success of our first gala on O‘ahu!

 

Peter Merriman | Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman, Ko Olina

Governor Neil Abercrombie | Andis Wines | Richard Dahl | Event Volunteers

D. Keola Lloyd | Maui Brewing Co. | Paradise Beverages, Inc.

McD & Sandy Philpotts | Eric Schiff | Take 2

Mahalo to everyone who made generous donations at the event.

 

We appreciate your support of Hawaiian Islands Land Trust!

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