News & Features

Ka Leo O Ka Aina - Ianuali 2018

"Message from the Land" - January 2018

Land Acquisition and Protection:

The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust continued to protect the lands that sustain us here in Hawaii in 2017 with the acquisition of a conservation easement on 150-acres of Kealakekua farm lands on the Honolulu Coffee Company farm and an additional conservation easement on 10-acres of native ohia forest and native bird habitat in the Kona cloud forest of Kaloko.

 Honolulu Coffee Company farm in Kealakekua, Hawaii

Honolulu Coffee Company farm in Kealakekua, Hawaii

With these additions to HILT's portfolio of protected lands across Hawaii, the organization has protected over 18,000 acres of Hawaii's special landscapes and their precious natural resources. 

 Kona cloud forest, Kaloko, Hawaii 

Kona cloud forest, Kaloko, Hawaii 

Stewardship and Ecological Restoration

HILT staff and volunteers are engaged in the management planning process for Honolua Bay/Lipoa Point with the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Planning Consultants Hawaii, and community organizations and stakeholders including the Save Honolua Coalition

 Honolua Bay, Maui

Honolua Bay, Maui

HILT staff and dedicated volunteers also continued ecological restoration work at each of the land trusts' five public preserves. 

 Seabury Hall students help remove invasive species at the Nuu Refuge, Maui

Seabury Hall students help remove invasive species at the Nuu Refuge, Maui

At HILT's Nuu Refuge in Kaupo, Maui, students and volunteers helped to remove invasive plants from over 1,000 linear feet of the Nuu pond. Bird counts this year indicate that the native waterbirds are doing well at this important wetland providing a connecting point between Maui and Hawaii Island. 

 Ko'oloa'ula thriving at the Waihe'e Coastal Dunes and Wetland Refuge, Maui

Ko'oloa'ula thriving at the Waihe'e Coastal Dunes and Wetland Refuge, Maui

Thanks to the many dedicated volunteers at the Waihe'e Coastal Dunes and Wetland Refuge, over 550 native plants were put in the ground this past year and many of the native species are thriving including the ko'oloa'ula.

 BYUH Students and Volunteers at Maunawila Heiau, O'ahu

BYUH Students and Volunteers at Maunawila Heiau, O'ahu

Over 2-tons of trees and shrubs were cleared from the Maunawila cultural preserve, and community leaders began a kilo program to discover and map the celestial alignments at the heiau. 

 Volunteers at Kahili Beach, Kauai

Volunteers at Kahili Beach, Kauai

The Kia'i Kahili volunteers continued to conduct beach clean-ups at the beautiful Kahili Beach in Kilauea, Kaua'i. 

  Team Kokua  from Hawaiian Airlines at Maunawila Heiau, O'ahu

Team Kokua from Hawaiian Airlines at Maunawila Heiau, O'ahu

Collectively, over 2,700 volunteers came out to help restore our public preserves and contributed over 6,600 hours to help malama these precious landscapes. Mahalo nui loa to all of HILT's incredible volunteers! 

Outreach and Education

 Talk Story on the Land at Kaiholena, Kohala, Hawaii

Talk Story on the Land at Kaiholena, Kohala, Hawaii

HILT's popular Talk Story on the Land series of educational hikes sharing about the natural and cultural history, and resources of our protected areas continued to engage residents and visitors on each island. The land trust was able to lead 65 hikes and share the importance of land conservation with 895 participants promoting the ethic of malama aina. 

 HILT Board Member McD Philpotts shares about conservation efforts with landowners at Palehua Ranch, Honouliuli, O'ahu. 

HILT Board Member McD Philpotts shares about conservation efforts with landowners at Palehua Ranch, Honouliuli, O'ahu. 

HILT was also able to partner with the West Oahu Soil and Water Conservation District, the Division of Forestry and Wildlife and other partners to provide two landowner outreach events to Hawaii landowners interested in learning about the opportunities and benefits of voluntary land conservation programs in Hawai'i. 

 Landowner outreach at  Waimea Valley , Oahu

Landowner outreach at Waimea Valley, Oahu

Events

 Jessica Welch, Executive Director of the Manoa Heritage Center and Mary Cooke accept the 2017 Kahu o Ka Aina Award presented by HILT Board Chairman Matt Beall at HILT's 2017 Malama Aina Kakou event at Lanikuhonua

Jessica Welch, Executive Director of the Manoa Heritage Center and Mary Cooke accept the 2017 Kahu o Ka Aina Award presented by HILT Board Chairman Matt Beall at HILT's 2017 Malama Aina Kakou event at Lanikuhonua

HILT had the privilege of honoring Sam and Mary Cooke and the Manoa Heritage Center for the 2017 Kahu o Ka Aina Award at the Malama Aina Kakou event at Lanikuhonua, Oahu. Over 250 land conservation supporters came out to help celebrate the protection and perpetuation of Hawaii's unique natural and cultural heritage. 

 Guest Celebrity Chef Andrew Le from Pig and a Lady and Executive Chef Vince McCarthy at Merriman's Waimea

Guest Celebrity Chef Andrew Le from Pig and a Lady and Executive Chef Vince McCarthy at Merriman's Waimea

We were extremely fortunate to have Celebrity Guest Chef Andrew Le from Pig and the Lady and Executive Chef Vince McCarthy of Merriman's Waimea provide an incredible evening of cuisine to celebrate at the 2017 Hawaii Island Paina in Waimea. 

 Celebrity Guest Chef Mark Noguchi, Executive Chef Mark Arriola, and the crew at Merriman's Fish House in Poipu, Kaua'i

Celebrity Guest Chef Mark Noguchi, Executive Chef Mark Arriola, and the crew at Merriman's Fish House in Poipu, Kaua'i

The HILT "Ohana on Kaua'i had a blast this year at the SOLD OUT Kaua'i Island Pa'ina with Celebrity Guest Chef Mark Noguchi from the Pili Group and Executive Chef Mark Arriola at Merriman's Fish House in Poipu, Kaua'i. 

 HILT Board Members at Buy Back the Beach 2017

HILT Board Members at Buy Back the Beach 2017

The 16th annual Buy Back the Beach at the Old Lahaina Luau was another incredible event with 348 attendees helping to honor US Senator Brian Schatz as the 2017 Champion of the Land. 

 Volunteer of the Year awardees Tom Huber and Tommy Morris along with HILT Land Steward, James Crowe

Volunteer of the Year awardees Tom Huber and Tommy Morris along with HILT Land Steward, James Crowe

We had an awesome gathering at the annual picnic at Waihe'e and were pleased to honor two of HILT's most loyal and dedicated volunteers, Tommy Morris and Tom Huber. 

Awards

HILT was honored to receive a Preservation Commendation award from the Historic Hawaii Foundation at the 2017 Preservation Honor Awards. 

It was also a pleasure to receive the Non-profit Sector Award from the Advocates for Public Interest Law at the 2017 APIL Gala event. 

Mahalo nui to everyone who helped make 2017 a great year for land conservation in Hawai'i! 

Ka Nuhou: December 2017

Aloha HILT Ohana!

Happy Makahiki and Holiday Season! Here are a few HILT updates for December 2017:

Events:

 Merriman's Waimea Executive Chef Vince McCarthy, Celebrity Guest Chef Andrew Le from Pig and a Lady, and HILT CEO Kawika Burgess at the Hawaii Island Paina

Merriman's Waimea Executive Chef Vince McCarthy, Celebrity Guest Chef Andrew Le from Pig and a Lady, and HILT CEO Kawika Burgess at the Hawaii Island Paina

Mahalo nui to all of our Big Island friends and ohana who came out to Merriman’s Waimea to celebrate at HILT’s annual Hawaii Island Paina on November 17th! We had a wonderful evening of fabulous food and entertainment with guest celebrity chef Andrew Le from Pig & The Lady and Executive Chef Vince McCarthy.

 Merriman's Fish House in Poipu, Kauai

Merriman's Fish House in Poipu, Kauai

For all of our Kauai friends and ohana, please join us at the annual Kauai Island Paina being held on Thursday, December 14th at Merriman’s Fish House in Poipu with celebrity guest chef Mark “Gooch” Noguchi. You can get more information or purchase your tickets here: http://www.hilt.org/special-events-calendar/kauai-island-paina

Mahalo nui to Peter Merriman and Merriman's for all of their incredible support for HILT and land conservation in Hawaii! 

 Buy Back the Beach at the Old Lahaina Luau, Maui. 

Buy Back the Beach at the Old Lahaina Luau, Maui. 

Our annual Maui Buy Back the Beach celebration will be held on Saturday, January 20th at the Old Lahaina Luau. For more information and to purchase your tickets, click here: http://www.hilt.org/special-events-calendar/2018/buy-back-the-beach-maui

Mahalo nui loa to the Old Lahaina Luau for the annual sponsorship of HILT's signature event! 

Recognition:

 Peter Merriman at the Meeting Professionals International Aloha Chapter Award Dinner

Peter Merriman at the Meeting Professionals International Aloha Chapter Award Dinner

Congratulations to HILT Board Member Peter Merriman for being recognized by the Meeting Professionals International Aloha Chapter!

Congratulations also to Peter Merriman for being named a finalist for the American Savings Bank Business Leader of the Year! https://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/news/2017/11/09/finalists-american-savings-bank-business-leader-of.html#i/10696462

Danny Boren and HILT Board Members.jpg

HILT sponsor and Chair of our Buy Back the Beach Event Committee, Danny Boren of Skyline Eco-Adventures was recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals on National Philanthropy Day! Congratulations Danny!

Land Trust Alliance Rally:

Associate Executive Director of Conservation, Scott Fisher, Kauai Island Director, Angela Anderson, and CEO Kawika Burgess participated in a panel discussion and presentation at the National Land Trust Alliance in Denver Colorado on October 27th on the subject of Community Conservation. It’s great to see that Hawaii is on the cutting edge of community conservation nationally!

Here Are A Few Land Project Updates:

Central Maui

HILT is working on a potential conservation easement to protect 800-acres of prime Maui agricultural lands supporting diversified agriculture in Maui’s central plains.

Keanae, Maui

 Keanae, Maui

Keanae, Maui

HILT has been awarded $210,000 from the State Legacy Land Program and we are following up with the matching funds for the remaining balance needed to close on this iconic 6-acre traditional taro farm on the historic Keanae peninsula.

Honolua, Maui

 Honolua Bay/Lipoa Point

Honolua Bay/Lipoa Point

HILT has been participating in the State’s planning meetings as the long-range management planning process for Honolua Bay and Lipoa Point begins.  HILT will continue to be a resource for the State in the planning efforts along with other community groups and stakeholders.

 Kilauea, Kauai

 Kilauea, Kauai

Kilauea, Kauai

HILT has been working on a potential conservation easement on one of the North Shore of Kauai’s popular hiking trails in Kilauea, Kauai.

Windward, Oahu

HILT is also working on a potential project to help protect one of Windward Oahu’s few remaining Hawaiian fishponds.  

Kona, Hawaii

Another portion of the Kona's native forest and native bird habitat could be protected soon with another conservation easement in the beautiful ma uka forest lands of Kaloko.

Kohala, Hawaii

 North Kohala Coastline, Hawaii Island

North Kohala Coastline, Hawaii Island

HILT has been in discussion with North Kohala community members about additional coastal protection efforts along the beautiful North Kohala coastline. 

There are several other land acquisition and protection projects in the works on each island. Stay tuned as these projects move forward and HILT continues its efforts to project Hawaii's special places, the lands that sustain us, and the natural and cultural heritage of Hawaii for current and future generations! 

Stewardship Updates:

Waihee Coastal Dunes and Wetland Preserve

 Skyline Eco-Adventures Beach Clean Up at Waihee

Skyline Eco-Adventures Beach Clean Up at Waihee

Mahalo to all of volunteers that come out to the Waihee Coastal Dunes and Wetland Preserve to help care for the land. Skyline Eco-Adventures recently came out and helped to remove over 364 lbs. of plastic and rubbish from the shoreline! We appreciate everyone's collective efforts!

Maunawila Heiau

 Students at Maunawila Heiau

Students at Maunawila Heiau

We'd also like to thank the Maunawila Menehune and many volunteers who have come out to our Volunteer Days at Maunawila Heiau! Recent groups include students from Hauula Elementary, BYUH, and Windward Community College. 

 Kauai Island Director, Angela Anderson

Kauai Island Director, Angela Anderson

Please help us give HILT Kauai Island Director a warm aloha and farewell as she and  her family will be moving to Washington State. Angela helped advance HILT's conservation work on Kauai with conservation easements to protect traditional taro lands in Waioli Valley and helped lead HILT's stewardship work at Kahili Beach among her many achievements. We wish Angela the very best in her future endeavors.  

As we enter into December, the Board of Directors and staff and HILT would like to wish each and everyone of our friends of the land and HILT Ohana members a very Happy Makahiki and Holiday Season!

Hau‘ula Community & HILT Share Maunawila with IUCN Indigenous Leaders

Hau‘ula Community & HILT Share Maunawila with IUCN Indigenous Leaders

A contingent of indigenous leaders from around the world who visited for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) experienced first hand how Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (HILT), the Hau‘ula community, and others throughout Ko‘olauloa, O‘ahu are working together to conserve the ancient heiau, Maunawila.