To begin, I’d like to extend my deepest thanks to everyone that supported and volunteered their time to help plant this past year’s 5-acre restoration area! It truly was a great undertaking, and with everyone’s help, it has thus far been a huge success. This has been my second year of planting since joining the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative’s staff, and I am still very humbled and left in awe by this amazing community that dedicates so much of their time and resources to enhance these dryland forest ecosystems.
This year’s planting area was especially challenging, with its jagged a’a substrate and seemingly few pockets of soil, yet has proven to be quite suitable for the native plant species that now live there. In total, we planted a variety of 24 different plant species, including 9 types of endangered species. Overall, from November 2017 to April of 2018, we were able to plant over 1500 native plants across the 5 acres with roughly 75-80% of them surviving through the summer.
Each year, we give a name to restoration area that we’ve been working on, and after much thought, the 2017/2018 planting area has received its name- Hālāwai. In one meaning of the word, Hālāwai refers to the horizon line, a place where the earth and sky meet each other. From our pavilion area, the Hana Hou Hale, the interior portion of the planting area raises up and forms one of the more prominent horizon line features on the landscape, so we’ve always considered this area of the preserve to be “on the horizon”. In another sense of the word, Hālāwai can also mean to meet or to have a meeting, and on a more personal note, this is where the name truly resonates with me. When joining the WDFI team two years ago, I bore witness to the great coming together of the community. It was inspiring to see such a passionate community come together to accomplish our shared vision of forest restoration. This year, I have felt as though I have actually joined that community. Through all of the volunteer planting, trail making, and service days restoring the area of Hālāwai, I got to meet with so many members of this great community and connected with many of you on a much deeper level. It is with the utmost gratitude that I thank Hālāwai and the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve for providing the space in which these great connections could be made.
Once again, thank you to each and every one of you for making this great project possible. Also, I’d like to thank our Executive Director, Jen, and the WDFI Board of Directors for being the great stewards that make our shared dream become reality.
This notice is to inform the public that the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative is applying for the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant to support our afterschool programming that serves the Waikoloa Area. If approved, our programs will provide students with academic enrichment opportunities to help them become proficient in core academic areas and provide them with unique experiential learning opportunities that help connect the students and their families with the community and natural environment.
Our program includes a field based program at the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve as well as an on-campus program that includes outdoor learning opportunities.
If you have suggestions about this program please contact Jen Lawson, Executive Director by email or phone. email@example.com (808) 494-2208.
Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative is seeking an enthusiastic Education Coordinator for our unique children’s environmental educational program the Waikoloa Future Foresters. This is an afterschool program that holds meetings in the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve four days per week and provides regular presentations and programs at Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School. The program gives children the opportunity to learn and explore outdoors and incorporates environmental sciences, Hawaiian culture and land stewardship. The coordinator will be responsible for program development and instruction and will supervise and teach up to 20 children in grades 4-7 per session. This position will involve administration of the program, collaboration with Department of Education employees, teachers, parents, students and community members. This position will also involve collaboration with Department of Education employees and the supervision of WDFI volunteers and paid staff.
Please see the full job description and application instructions:
The Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative will be hosting the 7th annual Wiliwili Festival Saturday, February 10th from 9am-3pm at the Waikoloa Stables. The Wiliwili Festival is a fun, free educational event for all ages and a great opportunity to learn more about the unique environment of our island. This year we’ll be offering many opportunities to visit the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve either on a guided hike or on-site workshop.
The Wiliwili Festival brings many local organizations and businesses together to raise awareness about our Hawaiian culture and the island’s native ecosystems and the work that is being done to protect and conserve our island’s resources. There will be free interactive demonstrations and hands-on activities for all ages, informational booths sponsored by non-profit and public agencies, a silent auction, free workshops and a great lecture series featuring talks on urgent invasive species issues, stories of place in South Kohala and updates from partners in conservation from across the island. We’ll also have live music, hula performances, native plants for sale and great food provided by local vendors.
Guided tours of the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve will be offered throughout the day at the Wiliwili Festival. Tour participants will have the opportunity to see the beautiful plant species that comprise the dryland forest and learn more about the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative’s forest restoration and community education programs. Tours will be offered every hour, on the hour, between 8am and 2pm. Participants may sign up at the event or in advance for the remaining time slots. Those interested in the early morning tours at 8am and 9am must sign up by email or phone prior to the event. Those planning to attend should wear good shoes or hiking boots and plan for a one hour roundtrip. Transportation from the Waikoloa Stables to the preserve will be provided. Tours are offered free of charge as part of the festival, but donations are encouraged and benefit the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit. For more information on the event or to sign up for a tour please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (808) 494-2208. See our flyer below!
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.
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!
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.
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!
“The Enduring Wiliwili” Exhibits at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel
Artists’ Reception Opens Exhibit on November 13th
On a summer morning two years ago, the Pacific Island Printmakers were introduced to a few of the remaining wild wiliwili trees located in the forest preserve supported by the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative. These trees have endured two hundred years of stress as a result of the voracious appetites of cattle, sheep and goats. What was once a flourishing forest ecosystem populated with an extensive variety of vines, shrubs, trees, birds and insects dwindled to a handful of stately wiliwili standing in the arid and stark landscape. It is estimated that in all of Hawaii only about 1000 wiliwili are left, making it a highly endangered tree. The forest is making a comeback. Thanks to the planting efforts of the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative and their volunteers, the wiliwili trees are now surrounded by a variety of young native plants that are growing into a dry forest ecosystem.
In this collaboration with the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative, The Pacific Island Printmakers immersed themselves in learning about the biology of the tree, the larger context of dry forest ecosystem and it’s cultural significance. Through the process of sketching, asking questions and gathering impressions, each artist offered their unique expression of the tree through the medium of printmaking. The Pacific Island Printmakers include John McCaskill, Margaret Barnaby, Andrea Pro, Lisa Louise Adams and Kathy Molina.
The public is invited to an artists’ reception on Friday, November 13 from 5 pm to 7 pm in the Coast Grille at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel located at 62-100 Kauna’oa Dr. The exhibit will show through February 12, 2016. A portion of the proceeds from art sales will benefit the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative. Call John McCaskill at 345-6200 for more information.