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           Hawaii Travel Guide

Take Part In The Revitalization Of The King's Forest With Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods

Tucked along the slopes of Mauna Kea, Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods (HLH) invites you to visit a historic site which was a majestic koa forest, and the personal property of King Kamehameha the Great—the first king of Hawaii. Once the King's forest was lush and thriving, then it was cleared nearly a century ago to make room for farming and ranching. Now, with the help of the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative, you can assist the Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods in taking the first steps towards the revitalization of this historic land.

There are still a few of the old growth koa trees on the property. And, HLH is utilizing these trees as the seed source for all Legacy Trees in an effort to return this tropical forest to its former glory. On your tour you will step back in time and experience these rare endemic koa trees, travel along the ancient Hawaiian “Umikoa Trail” to vistas with breathtaking views and perhaps see the endangered I`o (Hawaiian hawk) or Pueo (Hawaiian Owl) which reside on these lands.

During the tour you're invited to plant one of these special seedlings to honor an individual, to commemorate an event, or serve as a family tree, as part of an expert-led tour through the area’s rich culture and history. With less than 10% of these of these Hawaiian forests still in existence, you will be helping make a significant difference, and become part of Hawaii’s culture and history by the planting of these endemic trees.

Hawaiian Legacy Tours are offered daily, and offer two options:

The Planters Tour is about an hour and half, and starts at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., and on this tour you can plant a Koa Legacy Tree planting, and enjoy a shortened tour of the forest, including old-growth koa groves.

The Grand Tour that runs 3 hours also starts 9 a.m., and offers everything in the Planters Tour plus world-class views one mile above sea level and stops at points of interest including Umikoa Trail.

“The koa tree is one of the signature trees of the Hawaiian forest, yet most people only see koa in its finished form in stores throughout the islands. Koa trees have long been sought after for their magnificent wood, once reserved for use by Hawaiian royalty and used to build canoes, spears, bowls, housing and even fishhooks,” said Jeffrey Dunster, CEO of Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods. “Our Hawaiian Legacy Tours will provide a unique off-road land adventure for visitors and locals alike – a rare opportunity to see koa trees in all stages, from seedlings to old-growth trees with beautiful sprawling branches that serve as the home to endangered wildlife and as a protective canopy for a variety of tropical forest plants.”

The Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods Tours welcome you with freshly baked scones in the visitor center, , which is a 1920's refurbished ranch home. If you choice to plant a Koa Legacy Tree you will receive a high-quality embossed Certificate of Sponsorship that includes your name, as well as your tree’s serial number, GPS coordinates, and access to a uniquely developed RFID tracking system that provides the ability to remotely map the tree’s growth online for years to come, as well as visually locate it via Google Earth. And, you can purchase additional trees for planting on-site as well. Of the money receive from each guest, $20 from each tree will be donated to your favorite charity, and $1 is donated to the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, which works to conserve lands in Hawaii.

By Melody Schubert

Getting There:

To check availability, book a reservations, and learn more about HLH's Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative visit or call toll-free at 877-707-TREE.

Use this link to go to the Hawaii Travel Guide

About The Author

Use this link to learn more about Melody Schubert.