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‘Ulupalakua Cares

Celebrate the commitment to agriculture and open space in our community.

September 2, 2010
Maui Weekly

As the air gets cooler with the coming of fall, it’s a perfect time to celebrate the longstanding commitment to agriculture and open space that makes ‘Ulupalakua such a special place.

“‘Ulupalakua Cares” is a free community event featuring live music by local musicians, walking tours by environmental leaders, and informational exhibits by local conservation groups—all set against the idyllic backdrop of the winery’s historic grounds and the ranch’s pastoral beauty.

It’s Maui meets Lāna‘i, when the performers take the stage to share their musical talents. The dynamic combination of ‘ukulele virtuoso Derick Sebastian and singer/musician Joshua Kahula will stir things up on the winery grounds from noon to 3 p.m.

Article Photos

Ernest H. Rezents leads a special “Walking Tour of Trees” during “‘Ulupalakua Cares” event this weekend.

Sebastian is one of Maui’s rising stars, having just been nominated for a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for his first full-length album, From His Heart. Kahula is well-known as the musical leader of popular local band NuffSedd.

Following up will be Polihua, one of Lāna‘i’s favorite bands, bringing Hawaiian-style music—from kīhō‘alu to contemporary to the classics—to the winery grounds from 3 to 4 p.m.

Across the road at the ranch store, Maui’s own paniolo entertainer Bradda Francis Koahou opens the show at 11:30 a.m. with a demonstration of his slack key mastery until 3 p.m.

The full day of live entertainment is produced by Jazz Alley TV and MauiFEST Hawai‘i.

Not to be missed is a talk entitled “A Voyage Back in Time: The Natural Treasures of ‘Ulupalakua Ranch,” presented from noon to 12:30 p.m. by one of Maui’s leading experts in Hawaiian ecosystems, Dr. Art Medeiros. Medeiros is a research scientist with the Pacific Island Ecosystem Research Center of the U.S. Geological Survey and the head of the Auwahi reforestation project, the state’s most successful restoration of native dryland forest, which is located on ‘Ulupalakua Ranch land. His ambitious work extends to the Leeward Haleakalā Watershed Restoration Partnership, a coalition with the ranch and 10 other landowners that aims to restore 43,175 acres of koa forest on Haleakalā. Working together with the ranch owners, the Erdmans, Medeiros has set a statewide standard for how endangered biological and cultural resources can be protected.

The unique, 150-year-old trees of Maui’s Winery will be explored in a special “Walking Tour of Trees” led by Ernest H. Rezents, professor emeritus of agriculture, University of Hawai‘i/UH Maui College. Rezents will present “How to Determine the Value of a Tree” and share his mana‘o (wisdom), as an ISA Certified Arborist and ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist, a former gardening columnist for The Maui News, and the 2006 Honorary Chair of Arbor Week. The tour and talk will take place from 2 to 2:30 p.m.

Notable Maui conservation groups will have informational exhibits and representatives on hand from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Featured groups include ‘Ulupalakua Ranch, Maui Coastal Land Trust, Maui Invasive Species Committee and Leeward Haleakalā Watershed Restoration Partnership.

‘Ulupalakua Ranch has a long history of conservation—a value that has recently been lauded by the public with the ranch’s amazing donation of more than 11,000 acres of ranchland to Maui Coastal Land Trust, permanently protecting the area from development. Currently, over 50 species of endangered or rare native trees are being nurtured on the ranch with the help of dedicated volunteers and partner organizations.

According to ‘Ulupalakua Ranch President Sumner Erdman, the goal is to restore the remains of what was once a vast and biologically diverse ecosystem found only in the Hawaiian Islands. Erdman described “‘Ulupalakua Cares” as “a chance to share the work that we do and that these outstanding organizations do throughout the year to ensure the health of the environment for many years to come.”



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