Hawaii Land Trust

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!

Places and People

Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is a small organization dedicated to a crucial cause (the graveness of which became clearer the more time I spent here): the conservation of ecologically, culturally, historically, and agriculturally significant places. With limited resources and relatively few staff members, everyone here works very hard to serve the organization’s important mission to “protect the lands that sustain us.”

This summer, I had the opportunity to work as an intern at HILT’s O‘ahu office. Working with several staff members on various projects, I got to see the underbelly of land trust work and discover how HILT operates to fulfill its mission. With the goal of learning a bit about everything, I participated in various projects both in the office and “out in the field.”

HILT’s O‘ahu office is a small, simple, unassuming suite located in an unimposing building in a quiet part of downtown Honolulu. You would never guess from the outside what significant work was being done within. The sincere aesthetic of the HILT office is reflective of the sort of work that HILT does. Unflashy, genuine, straight to the heart of the matter. Working in the office with Kawika, Angie, and Jean, I was able to participate in the fundraising (or “development”) side of things as well as learn about the process of land-acquisition and management. All of this took the form of much reading and writing, a bit of drawing, some database research, some mail-merging and Excel-spreadsheet-making, and lots of envelope-stuffing to boot. It was all very interesting work, and most of it completely new to me. From the first few readings (legal easement documents, management plans, and an archaeological report), I knew just how much learning I would have ahead of me.

As a novelty-seeking intern looking for new knowledge wherever it could be found, I also got to tag along on several out-of-the-office adventures. These included a volunteer day with Hawaiian Airlines at Maunawila Heiau; a site visit of a potential property on O‘ahu; a trip to the airport post office for a bulk-mailing project; a trip to Hau‘ula to build cardboard wa‘a (canoes) with school children and learn about Hawaiian history and language; and finally a weeklong stint at the Hawai‘i Conservation Conference.

Over the course of my time with HILT, I have experienced many new things, and gained many new insights regarding land acquisition and nonprofit development, as well as made a first step into the vast world of Hawaiian culture, language, and history. Perhaps the most important idea I saw put into elegant practice at HILT was the multifaceted nature of places.

So much of what a place is depends on what we make of it. It’s true that land is physical and can be defined by its biotic and abiotic factors, or split into parcels by tax map keys and boundary lines. But places are also defined by the stories we tell about them: how we interact with them in the present, and how we understand their past. Furthermore, subjectivity and differences in background knowledge mean that each person will view and experience a place differently. Put simply, places mean different things to different people.

Take, as an example, Maunawila Heiau, owned and managed by Hawaiian Islands Land Trust since 2014, and located in Hau‘ula on the North Shore of O‘ahu. A real estate agent or government official might describe Maunawila as TMK: [1] 5‐4‐005: 010, a fee-owned 9.08-acre property in an AG-2 (agricultural) zoning district. An archeologist would look at the same land and note the various igneous and coralline alignments and features, searching for artifacts and significant stones. A cultural anthropologist would bring a different perspective, wondering about the mo‘olelo (stories) associated with the place and the practices and rituals observed here. What type of heiau was Maunawila and what did the prophet Makuakaumana have to do with it? A biologist would notice the non-native octopus trees and unbridled hau, and consider what endemic plants and animals might do best in this environment. An educator would wonder “is it safe to bring children here?” and a fundraiser would ask the same about potential donors. A volunteer would see the guinea grass and, wielding a machete, work to clear the area of harmful invasives. A child might see a place of wonder and mystery or steer clear of it, fearing its religious attributes. A practitioner of Hawaiian culture might honor the land as a place of ancestral sacredness, worthy of immense respect. And an intern with HILT would get to learn about all of these perspectives and revel in the marvelous complexity of places and people.

How we understand a place depends on the stories we connect with it. After working at HILT, I have added a new story to my understanding of conserved places. I also have a better grasp and deeper appreciation of the work of conservationists. Protecting our most important lands is a noble aspiration and one that is becoming ever more urgent. At Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, I have had the privilege of seeing a group of dedicated, sincere, and intelligent people working in pursuit of this immensely consequential goal.

 

By, Susannah Lawhorn