Mahalo ‘Aina: Give Back to the Forest is a program of the Hawai‘i Forest Institute (an entity established in 1989 to promote healthy and productive forests and a sustainable forest industry through forest management, education, planning, information exchange and advocacy.)
In partnership with the Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association (HFIA) and others, the goal of the Mahalo ‘Aina program is to expand community partnerships and gain support for the protection and perpetuation of Hawaiʻi’s forest ecosystems.
The philosophy of Mahalo ʻAina is simple: to help ensure a thriving future for forest restoration and education programs. The forest provides us with environmental, economic and cultural benefits, but we must also understand that we must give back to the forest.
Key Objectives of the Mahalo ‘Aina: Give back to the Forest program include:
- Participate in forest restoration projects;
- Raise awareness of reforestation efforts in Hawai‘i;
- Develop demonstration forests;
- Plan for future sustainability of forest ecosystems;
- Raise awareness of forestry practices;
- Illustrate forestry conservation practices; and
- Develop long-term partnerships
- Engage the public to become involved
Funds raised through Mahalo ‘Aina are helping to support: Propagation, outplanting, and long-term care of plantings; Site maintenance; Cultural and environmental education programs; and Coordination and promotional activities.
Mahalo ‘Aina is not simply a tree planting program, in addition to planting trees, it is helping to support total ecosystem management and providing forest stewardship opportunities and educational programs at project sites throughout the state.
Mahalo ‘Aina will initially benefit the following projects:
- Ka‘upulehu Dryland Forest, Hawai‘i Island
- La‘i‘Opua Dryland Habitat Preserve, Hawai‘i Island
- Kaloko Makai Dryland Forest Preserve, Hawai‘i Island
- Pana‘ewa Zoo Discovery Forest, Hawai‘i Island
- Palamanui Dry Forest Preserve, Hawai‘i Island
- ‘Aina Mauna Christmas Tree Demonstration Project, Hawai‘i Island
- Kapapala Canoe Forest, Hawai‘i Island
- Honolulu Zoo Children’s Discovery Forest, O‘ahu
- Hawaiʻi’s WoodshowTM, Na La‘au o Hawai‘i, O‘ahu
- Hawaii Wood Guild, Hawai‘i Island
- Keauhou Bird Conservation Center Discovery Forest, Hawai‘i Island
- Kua O Ka La Public Charter School, Hawai‘i Island
- Hawai‘i Island Native Hawaiian Seed Bank Cooperative, Hawai‘i Island
- Honokohau National Historical Park & Pu‘uhonua O Honaunau Restoration, Hawai‘i Island
- Kakeʻe Area Restoration and Reforestation Project, Kaua‘i
- Maui Bird Conservation Center Discovery Forest, Maui (in exploration phase)
Tune in to the Mahalo ‘Aina Hawaiʻi Public Radio (HPR) Radio Series on HPR-1 Monday through Friday at 8:18 am, now through Friday, July 31st.
The 65 episodes will re-run on HPR-2 starting in August 2015.)
I am honored and proud to serve as a director on the Hawaiʻi Forest Institute (HFI,) an organization dedicated to promote the health and productivity of Hawaiʻi’s forests, through forest restoration, educational programs, information dissemination and support for scientific research.