< < Back to Company Profiles page

Share | |

2014 Pathways to Sustainability - Hawaii Legacy Reforestation Initiative

Hawaiian Islands Land Trust

The Return of Hawaii’s Koa Forest
250,000th Endemic Koa Tree is Planted

Reduced habitat for the Hawaiian Honeycrepper (`I`iwi) continues to depress the remaining populations.  Photo credit: Jack Jeffrey

With a Legacy TreeTM program dedicated to restoring Hawaii’s endangered koa forests, the nonprofit Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative “HLRI” is doing its part to foster the growth not only of our trees, but our economy as well.  Most people support the cause of environmental preservation, but there has been no clear cut mechanism for an individual to have a meaningful impact.  Through the Legacy Tree Program, individuals can not only sponsor and track their very own individual Legacy Trees, but they can be part of a much larger picture.  Joined by tens of thousands of other individual plantings, they can see how the collective efforts of many can be orchestrated to build a forest, return a native ecosystem, and literally change the face of the planet. The personal aspect of tree sponsorship creates far reaching awareness while the process of reforestation generates quality green jobs here in Hawaii.  Add to this equation, the fact that these funds go to support charity and you have a winning solution for everyone touched by the concept.

View a tree planting


One thousand acres on the slopes of Mauna Kea has been donated by HLH (Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods) for permanent reforestation.  This historic site was once a majestic koa forest and the personal property of King Kamehameha the Great -- the first King of Hawaii. Sadly, the land was cleared nearly a century ago to make room for farming and ranching.  Fortunately, some of the old growth trees still reside on the property. HLRI is utilizing these trees as a seed source for all Legacy Trees in an effort to return this tropical forest to its former glory.  

Here’s how it works: Anyone, whether an individual, business, non-profit or other entity, contacts HLRI to sponsor a tree. HLRI plants the tree using sustainable practices and proprietary technology, and the sponsor can designate a charity to receive a portion of the proceeds. “Many charitable organizations use this as a fundraiser.  When someone sponsors a tree, $20 of the $60 goes to their charity,” Dunster says.

One of the most alluring features of the program is its simplicity. “A small act, but if done by enough people, can have profound impacts.” says HLRI Director Jeffrey Dunster.


91 Coelho Way
Honolulu, HI 96817