‘Olelo No‘eau (Hawaiian proverb) teaches us that he ali‘i ka ‘aina; he kauwa ke kanaka or translated in English “the land is the chief; man is its servant.” It is through this profound respect for the ‘aina, that the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (HILT) works to protect the lands that sustain us for current and future generations.
In ancient times, ka po‘e kahiko (the people of old) recognized the virtues of the Koa tree, which dominated the landscape of Hawai‘i’s rainforests. The word koa also denotes bravery, courageousness and warrior. A tree of many uses, koa logs from the forest, particularly the wao akua or the upper reaches of the forest where the gods dwelled, were hand-carved into voyaging canoes, which for centuries united the Hawaiian people with their ancestral homelands of Kahiki (Tahiti), Hawaiki (the island region of Tonga, Samoa and Niue), and the numerous islands of Polynesia. Koa stands as a symbol of strength during times of adversity and the unity of purpose that is realized when a community strives to achieve a shared goal.
Ecologically, Koa is known as a keystone species, their cumulative benefit to the landscape is more valuable than their individual presence would suggest. Koa trees attract the rains that bring life to all other species in the area. Hawaiians had an expression for this: Hahai no ka ua i ka ulula‘au, rain follows the forest. Koa sustains the forest, providing a cascade of benefits to everything that lives, and because of them the forest and all of its numerous species, thrive.
Since 2011, HILT has actively worked to malama ‘aina (care for the land). From the idyllic shore of Kahili Beach on verdant Kaua‘i to the ecologically rich Kīpuka Mosaic on Hawai‘i Island, HILT protects, in perpetuity, over 17,500 acres across Hawai‘i. This is made possible through the steadfast support and generosity of passionate individuals like you who understand the value of Hawai‘i’s ecological treasures. Together, we will witness a future that sees the protection of important cultural sites, agricultural lands, water resources, public access to the land and those critically important ecosystems that are threatened with destruction or degradation.
Partnering with HILT, an accredited statewide land trust devoted to the preservation of Hawai‘i’s precious natural resources and cultural heritage, allows you to invest in the preservation of Hawai‘i’s open spaces for generations to come.
Join these Distinguished Nā Koa ‘Āina Fellows Today!
- Pamela & Ed Bello
- Susan Bradford
- Hawai‘i Life
- Hawai‘i Life Charitable Fund
- Ann & Allen Jones III
- Susan & Jac Kean
- Jonathan Kindred
- Betty M. Leis
- Audrey MacLean & Mike Clair
- The Makana Aloha Foundation
- Peter & Victorine Merriman
- Joe & Sharon Saunders
- Jill & Doug Schatz
- Anne & Larry Stevens
- Anthony & Carey Sutton
E komo mai! As a Fellow who commits to graciously giving $10,000+ each year for three years, you will receive fellows-only benefits. Becoming a Na Koa ‘Aina Fellow is an excellent way to protect Hawai‘i’s natural splendor while joining an exclusive alliance of warriors for the environment.
Nā Koa ‘Āina Fellows Benefits:
- Special Invitation for two to HILT’s Chairman’s Reception
- Two complimentary tickets per pledge year to Buy Back the Beach – Malama Kīpuka Annual Fundraising Lu‘au held at Old Lahaina Lu‘au
- Private, island director led tour for six (6) of one of HILT’s public preserves (reservation required 4-weeks in advance)
- Invitations to fellows-only special events
- Invitations to all community events with special recognition
- A legacy native tree planted in your honor (or in honor of your designee) at Waihe‘e Coastal Dunes and Wetland Refuge, HILT’s largest public preserve on Maui
- One gift Keopuka level membership for a recipient of your choice
- Limited edition HILT logo 40oz Wide Mouth Hydroflask®
- HILT logo gift set including t-shirt, hat and tote bag
Become a Fellow Today!
Feel free to call our Development Department at (808) 791-0731 or download the Na Koa ‘Aina Distinguished Fellows Program brochure and the PDF Pledge Form or complete our Online Pledge Form. You can also donate here: Contribute Today.