Pe‘ahi, Ha‘iku - Merwin Palm Forest

Merwin palm.  Courtesy of Jeane McMahon

Merwin palm.  Courtesy of Jeane McMahon

Size: 18 acres
Year Protected: 2014
Land Protection Strategy: HILT Conservation Easement
Conservation Values: The W.S. Merwin Palm Collection, one of the largest in the world, has nearly 3,000 individual palm trees, representing over 480 taxonomic species and more than 125 genera. According to experts at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens, the collection “is a living treasure house of palm DNA.” The property also has agricultural, wildlife habitat, archaeological and scenic values.
Land Features: Extensive wet palm forest situated on a ridge between bays

W.S. & Paula Merwin.  Courtesy of The Merwin Conservancy.

W.S. & Paula Merwin.  Courtesy of The Merwin Conservancy.

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. 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.
— Conservancy Executive Director, Jason Denhart
 

About Merwin Palm Forest

W.S. Merwin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. Poet Laureate came upon a parcel of land in the small valley of Pe‘ahi Stream 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 has become a dense forest of palm trees.  Hand planting seedling-by-seedling, tree-by-tree, along with Merwin’s wife, Paula, 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 culmination of several years of collaborative work by HILT, 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.

Set on nineteen acres on Maui’s north shore, the Merwin Palm Collection boasts nearly 3,000 individual palm trees, representing over 480 taxonomic species and more than 125 unique genera.  According to experts at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens, the collection is “a living treasure house of palm DNA.”

ABOUT W.S. MERWIN

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

ABOUT THE MERWIN CONSERVANCY

The Merwin Conservancy is a Maui-based 501(c)(3) non-proft organization whose mission is to advance and preserve forever the literary legacy, the palm tree botanical collection and the poet’s home of W.S. Merwin, a 2-time Pulitzer Prize-winning United States Poet Laureate, and bring his work and his values into the community through research, education and outreach.  www.merwinconservancy.org

ABOUT COPPER CANYON PRESS

Copper Canyon Press is a nonprofit publisher that believes poetry is vital to language and living.  Since 1972, the Press has published poetry exclusively and has established an international reputation for its commitment to authors, its editorial acumen, and its dedication to engaging and nurturing an audience for poetry.  Foregrounding a wide-ranging aesthetic, the Press publishes across the spectrum of poetry, from major American and international poets to new and emerging writers and works in translation.  For over two decades it has published the work of W.S. Merwin, including Migrations (National Book Award, 2005), Shadow of Siriusi (Pulitzer Prize, 2009) and his most recent book Moon Before Morning (2014).  www.coppercanyonpress.org