Featured articles

  • HILT Conserves Additional Land with Its Kīpuka Mosaic Project on Hawaiʻi Island
  • HILT’s First Public Preserve on O‘ahu
  • Mahalo To Everyone Who Joined Us Out On The ‘Āina For HILT’s Free Family Picnic!
  • RSVP today for HILT’s Free Family Picnic at the Waihe‘e Refuge!
  • Kihei Charter School Students Work to Become Members of HILT!

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

unnamed-1 unnamed

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


HILT’s First Public Preserve on O‘ahu


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


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


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!


20140628_HILT_Picnic_L-133 20140628_HILT_Picnic_L-45

HBC on Facebook HBC on Instagram HBC on Twitter
Friend us on Facebook & Follow us on Instagram & Twitter!


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

lp-2.aspx lp-4.aspx

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:


Picnic flyer 2014


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.


HILT Collaborates with Kihei Charter School


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!!!


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


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.


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

www.garyhofheimerphotography.com photo 3 www.garyhofheimerphotography.com

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!


Read HILT’s Latest Newsletter!

Click here to download newsletter
Membership Newsletter   |   Volume Four   |   Number One   |   Spring 2014

New Talk Story on the Land Series 

In January 2014, Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (“HILT”) launched its new Talk Story on the Land environmental education series. The program has been a terrific success with many of the scheduled hikes already “sold out.”

The purpose of HILT’s Talk Story on the Land program is to give the public the opportunity to get out and walk on the land we work to protect, and learn about those lands and our work, so people can better connect with nature and the work of HILT statewide.

Every hike is free and open to the public. However, the special moonlight hikes have a suggested donation of $25 to offset the cost of the pūpū and refreshments provided. For those that provide the suggested donation they will receive a one-year HILT membership with associated benefits (HILT newsletters, HILT window cling, etc.).

This educational program reflects our belief that experiential education is the most powerful form of environmental education. Direct experience with the land develops love for the land, and love is the basis of good stewardship. This program will help develop more support for HILT’s time-sensitive land conservation work and protecting nature in general.

The 2014 Talk Story on the Land series consists of 16 hikes across O‘ahu, Maui, Hawai‘i and Kaua‘i. It includes hikes at HILT’s Nu‘u Refuge on Maui, the Honolulu Coffee Company Farm on Hawai‘i, Coco Palms on Kaua‘i, Pūpūkea Ranch on O‘ahu and many other properties, some of which are not typically open to the public. For the complete listing, click here. The schedule includes information on how to sign up for a particular hike. Space is limited, and many hikes are already full or near capacity, so sign up quickly! If you cannot get on one of our hikes this year, stay tuned for the 2015 Talk Story on the Land Hike Schedule which will be released early next year as this will be an ongoing annual program.

Your support is clearly helping us grow and accomplish extraordinary things for the lasting benefit of Hawai‘i and all who love it.

View the full Spring 2014 Newsletter.

Maunawila Heiau – HILT’s 1st Public Preserve on O‘ahu
After years of work, HILT plans to complete its acquisition of the 9-acre Maunawila property near Hau‘ula town on O‘ahu from the McGregor family in the next few weeks.  This property will become HILT’s first public preserve on O‘ahu.
Ka ‘Āina Ulumāhiehie: Major Annual Gifts Program
Be a part of Ka ‘Āina Ulumāhiehie and make your contribution toward our ‘āina māhiehie, Hawai‘i’s richly-adorned land.  These Hawaiian concepts of the leaf bud, the unfolding of a new blossom, the beautiful sight of a fully bloomed lehua, and an exquisitely adorned and lushly vegetative ulula‘au of ‘ōhi‘a trees demonstrate how your leadership support of HILT helps us grow our land conservation mission.
He kuleana nō ia.
Neil Hannahs – HILT Board Chair Shares His Mana‘o on Land Conservation
“We are who we are because of where we are…Whether we descend from ancestors who came to dwell in these islands centuries ago or we have just recently arrived on these shores, participation in the stewardship of lands and resources allows us to sustain a connection to the source of our unique identity.”


In This Issue:

HILT Executive Director, Ted Clement, discusses conservation values, the need for conservation in Hawai‘i, and new programs for O‘ahu.   HILT’s 1st Public Preserve on O‘ahu is expected to close in the next few weeks, HILT welcomes Tina Aiu, O‘ahu Island Director, the new Talk Story on the Land series is launched, Ka ‘Āina Ulumāhiehie: HILT’s major annual gifts program is presented, and the 2013 Annual Giving Report is provided.


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 sustain us—there’s food for thought.


Our Mission:  To protect the lands that sustain us for current and future generations.

HBC on Facebook HBC on Instagram HBC on Twitter


Happy Earth Day News From Hawaiian Islands Land Trust!

Kids working Wiliwili forest

This Earth Day, the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (“HILT”) has happy news to share.  Today, April 22nd, HILT and the Kihei Charter School (“KCS”) signed a creative new Conservation Collaboration Agreement.  The parties to this Agreement recognize that the State of Hawai‘i’s natural environment is greatly threated by development and other pressures, that young people have a major stake in what our future environment will be like, and that together the parties can better protect Hawai‘i while furthering their respective land conservation and education missions by collaborating together.  HILT applauds KCS for its leadership and understanding of the importance of land conservation for the long-term well-being of its students.

The Conservation Collaboration Agreement signed today has three main components.  HILT staff will provide educational presentations regarding land conservation to KCS students in the 7th and 8th grades.  In the coming weeks, HILT and KCS will also collaborate on an Earth Day 2014 cleanup of HILT’s Waihe‘e Coastal Dunes & Wetlands Refuge.  Finally, KCS will work towards raising the necessary funds by December 2014 so that its 7th and 8th grade students can become members of HILT, and get directly involved with the philanthropy necessary to support HILT’s land conservation work, through HILT’s Young Friends Membership Program.

In an effort to expedite its time-sensitive land conservation work, HILT is reaching out to young people to join the cause, through its new Young Friends Membership Program, as young people have a major stake in what our future environment will be like.  The new membership program offers an affordable annual membership level, the Waihe‘e Level, for young people 21 years or younger at $15 as opposed to the standard starting $25 Maunawila Level annual membership.  Young Friends Members receive all of the same benefits as Maunawila Level members, which include HILT’s educational newsletter Umeke Kāʻeo, a member window cling, HILT’s e-news, and invitations to special events and other activities such as HILT’s free Talk Story on the Land environmental education series and community picnic.

The mission of KCS, a non-profit school, is to conceptualize, organize, and build innovative learning environments with custom designed educational programs that will prepare students for a satisfying and productive life in the 21st Century.

HILT, a non-profit land trust, has a mission to protect the lands that sustain us for current and future generations.  HILT works to protect lands with a number of conservation values that we depend upon (wildlife habitat, agricultural land, water resource areas, outdoor recreational space, cultural places, scenic vistas, etc.) while also educating the community about the importance of conserving our cherished piece of paradise.  To date, HILT has conserved over 17,000 acres across the State of Hawai‘i.

Kids pull stumps         aalii in rocks

HBC on Facebook HBC on Instagram HBC on Twitter
Friend us on Facebook & Follow us on Instagram & Twitter!


Mālama Kīpuka Green Oasis Gala 2014

Mahalo from the HILT ‘Ohana for your Support of Buy Back the Beach!


Hawaiian Islands Land Trust would like to extend our sincere appreciation to everyone involved in making this year’s
Buy Back the Beach Benefit Lū‘au a smashing success!
For the 13th year in a row, our wonderful hosts:
Old Lāhaina Lū‘au, Aloha Mixed Plate, Star Noodle and Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop
Mahalo to our Event Chairs, Susan Kean and Helen Nielsen, as well as the many Event Committee Members, Food and Beverage Donors, Auction Donors and Event Volunteers.

Thank you to our generous Pā‘ina Sponsors
hiltsponsorbanner Pākaukau Sponsors

  • Bello Realty Inc.
  • Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
  • Susan Bradford & Friends
  • Campbell ‘Ohana
  • Central Pacific Bank
  • Kimber Carhart
  • edible Hawaiian Islands
  • Janice Lau Fergus
  • First Wind Energy
  • Goodfellow Bros., Inc.
  • Grand Wailea
  • Hawai‘i Gas
  • Hawai‘i Life Real Estate Brokers
  • Donna Howard
  • Susan & Jac Kean
  • Kahiko Hikers/Brill ‘Ohana
  • Kuano‘o Communications
  • Maui Electric Company, Limited
  • Maui Tomorrow
  • Merriman ‘Ohana
  • Nielsen/Starr ‘Ohana
  • Pacific Resource Partnership
  • Powers/McKenney ‘Ohana
  • Rising Sun Solar
  • Scheuer ‘Ohana
  • Stevens ‘Ohana
  • Surfrider Foundation – Maui
  • Takayesu ‘Ohana
  • Valkirs ‘Ohana

We would also like to thank:

  • Steve Burgess
  • Rusty Conway
  • HAPA
  • Joel Katz
  • Makalapua Kanuha
  • Gary Larson
  • Maui Printing Company

Thank you for your support of the time-sensitive land conservation work of
Hawaiian Islands Land Trust.
Together, we are making a lasting green difference.


Individuals willing to donate hard-earned money toward the essential land conservation mission of HILT!
Great supporters and sponsors of HILT, such as the winners of the 2014 Champion of the Land Conservation Award, Nā Hoaloha ‘Ekolu contribute so much toward land conservation!
Awesome performance by HAPA created an enjoyable experience and inspired people!