The Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative is a non-profit organization that manages a 275 acre dry forest preserve and restoration project near Waikoloa Village on Hawai‘i Island. Our mission is to preserve, protect and restore a remnant native Hawaiian dry forest ecosystem through land management, outreach, education and grass roots advocacy. We accomplish our goals by focusing our management on threat control, such as invasive plant management and fuel reduction, as well as increasing the number of native species within the project by planting and seed broadcasting.
Our current programs include invasive species control, fuels management, native plant propagation and planting, and outreach and education programs. The outreach and education program includes the Waikoloa Future Foresters educational program for children, and our visitors and volunteer programs. Outreach and education is central to our vision and goals at WDFI and we hope to preserve, promote and restore understanding and stewardship of the forest within our communities through our volunteer and educational programs and by providing opportunities to tour and experience these special places
In 2003 community members such as citizen steward and WDFI president Beverley Brand witnessed the relocation of several ancient wiliwili trees from their native habitat in Waikoloa to a North Kona resort. The Waikoloa Village Association owns much of the remaining habitat for wiliwili trees in the Waikoloa area and briefly allowed the removal and sale of these trees. Members of the Waikoloa Village Outdoor Circle suggested that the practice of removing these trees was irresponsible and began negotiating a license to protect, promote and restore the forgotten forest that persisted near the village.
WDFI was formed in June of 2011 to take over the responsibility of the Waikoloa Dry Forest Recovery Project formerly managed by the Waikoloa Village Outdoor Circle (WVOC), a cooperating 501(c)(3) non-profit. Under the WVOC the forest restoration project and educational programs were overseen by a committee whose members created WDFI. WDFI is comprised of a six member volunteer Board of Directors, one full-time and one part-time staff member and many, many wonderful volunteers.