Hawaiian Islands Land Trust and Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods have partnered to further the goal to restore Hawai'i's dwindling koa forests and benefit other native forests across the state while also supporting the land trust's work to protect and conserve important lands in the state.
Koa has been severely depleted by feral cattle, land clearing, invasive pests and unsustainable harvesting.
"The continued degradation of this monarch tree, with no replanting, has diminished our koa forests and the quality of other native forest species that depend on the koa," said Ted Clement, the land trust's executive director. "This partnership seeks to address both of those concerns."
The trust is participating in the Legacy Tree component, in which participants pay $60 for each tree planted. Of that sum, a minimum of $1 goes to the trust, and $20 to the charity of the donor's choice. Donors may elect the trust to be the recipient of the $20.
With each planted tree, an electronic chip is placed in the ground. The chip contains the serial number of the tree and is linked with a proprietary software system that tracks the entire lifecycle of the tree, including its GPS coordinates, health and maintenance records of the tree and even the location of the mother tree where the seed was collected. In addition, it stores the name of the tree sponsor and the name of the individual the tree was planted to honor.
All money donated will be used to further the land trust's mission of protecting the places that will sustain us for current and future generations.
"It's a partnership that will create new koa forests and preserve existing native forests and other important lands," said Clement.
"You're not just planting a tree, you're helping to return an entire native ecosystem," said Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods CEO Jeff Dunster.