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 email@example.com 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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (808) 494-2208.
Please join WDFI for an evening of art inspired by native Hawaiian species! Our show will feature renowned local artists who support our work in the dry forest through art. Tickets are only $30 and include admission, drinks, pupus, live entertainment and fantastic art. Sales will benefit the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative. Get tickets here.
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!
This 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 email@example.com. Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by our community; a $20 donation is suggested for the tour.