We’re Under Construction!

We’re Under Construction!

Anyone who has ever been to the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve knows that in addition to rain, there is another important thing is short supply and that is SHADE! Despite the hot weather and challenging terrain in Waikoloa, we have collected an amazing group of supporters and volunteers that have helped us to achieve incredible results over the past six years. From our regular volunteers and our Future Foresters to first-time visitors, school groups, tourists and business that give back to the ‘aina, we have worked together as a community to reverse the decline of the Waikoloa Dry Forest and bring back many of the native species that were once common in our unique region.

We appreciate our volunteers, in fact, we couldn’t be successful without you! So, we’re excited to announce that we are in the process of building a shade pavilion for all of us to enjoy! With major support from our principal donor, Albert D. Rich, as well as support from the Will J. Reid Foundation and our community of donors, we have begun the construction of our new shade hale and we couldn’t be more excited! This new addition will be a hub for volunteers, student groups and the Future Foresters afterschool program. We are also looking forward to hosting additional workshops, presentations and events in the comfort of our new open air pavilion.

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If you would like to contribute to our hale, we would love your help! We are still in need of funding to cover additional construction costs, painting, storage cabinets and a counter top, a handwashing sink, teaching resources such as interpretive signs, field guides and dissecting microscopes for students. This project is going to change the way we are able to educate our community and make visiting the preserve an even better experience. We look forward to sharing it’s completion with you and thank you for your continued support!

Wiliwili Flower Tours

Some of the first blossoms of the season.

Some of the first blossoms of the season.

Join WDFI staff for a guided tour of the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve during this summer’s wiliwili flowering season. On this hike you’ll see several ancient wiliwili trees in bloom, walk through some of our forest restoration areas, visit our on-site plant nursery and learn about the unique environment of Waikoloa. We’ll be offering tours on Saturday, July 8th and Saturday, July 22nd from 8am-10am. Tours are offered free of charge but donations that support our work in the forest are encouraged and greatly appreciated. Participants should wear closed toed shoes suitable for hiking on uneven terrain, bring adequate sun protection and a water bottle. Water and other refreshments will be provided at the end of the tour. The wiliwili flowers are beautiful in the morning light and very photogenic so don’t forget a camera!

To sign up, please email jen@waikoloadryforest.org or call (808) 494-2208.

We’re Celebrating Five Years!

This year, WDFI embarked on our fifth year of forest conservation, restoration, and environmental education. Creating a forest preserve isn’t an easy task but, thanks to our many hard-working volunteers, generous donors, and enthusiastic supporters, we are celebrating our fifth year in the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve. Mahalo for your continued support of our work and dedication to the conservation of Hawaiian dryland forests and the incredible species that comprise them. Please visit our FIVE YEAR CELEBRATION campaign.

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Give Aloha

Give Aloha

GiveAloha

The Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative is participating in Give Aloha, Foodland’s Annual Community Matching Gifts Program which can help us fundraise even faster! When you make a donation to WDFI at any Foodland, Sack N Save, or Foodland Farms store Foodland and the Western Union Foundation will match that donation! All you need is a Maika’i Card and you can double your annual donation by making it at the checkout! When you’re shopping in the month of September, please consider making a donation to WDFI, use code #78843. Your donations support our forest restoration efforts and our place-based educational programs. Mahalo for your support!

Special Wiliwili Flower Tours

Special Wiliwili Flower Tours

IMAG3340This week the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative is hosting two guided walking tours of the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve to showcase the incredible flowers of the wiliwili.

The ongoing, strong el niño has brought severe drought to our islands and the effects are apparent in the dry, dusty conditions in the lowlands of Waikoloa. In the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve however, our drought-adapted wiliwili trees are putting on an early display of beautiful orange blossoms. Our native wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) is one of few drought-deciduous trees in Hawaiʻi and typically drops its leaves in the dry summer months before flowering. This year’s extended drought has prompted an early flowering season and brought some color to our dry landscape.

The wiliwili trees among the most iconic of our dryland forests in Hawaiʻi and their flowering season has been a notable occurrence throughout history. Hawaiian people observed that during the flowering season of the wiliwili there was an increase in tiger shark activity near shore as told in the Hawaiian proverb, “Pua ka wiliwili nanahu ka manō”, which can be translated “when the wiliwili bloom, the sharks will bite”. This ancient saying draws a correlation between the typical autumn flowering of the wiliwili and the pupping season of tiger sharks which many believe causes them to behave more aggressively. Although the flowers are early this year, it may still be a good idea to be extra cautious in the water.

Visit the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve and see the spectacular flowers and learn more about the forest restoration work happening in Waikoloa. Forest preserve tours will be held from 9am-11am on Wednesday April 20th and Saturday April 23rd. Participants will meet at the junction of Waikoloa Road and Quarry Road in Waikoloa Village. Transportation into the preserve will be provided by WDFI. Please reserve a spot by calling (808) 494-2208 or emailing wdfi@waikoloadryforest.org. Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by our community; a $20 donation is suggested for the tour.