With support from the Fairmont Orchid, the Waikoloa Dry Forest is an inspiring place where ancient wiliwili trees persist in some of the roughest terrain in Hawai‘i. Here, you can learn about the diverse forest that once covered the driest regions of the Hawaiian islands and find out how you can have a positive impact on the future of the forest.
Restoring a forest ecosystem is an ambitious and complex undertaking and it can look different depending on the landscape and the goals of the community. The goal of the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative is to rebuild a self-sustaining, native-dominant forest, and promote native forest conservation through outreach, education, and advocacy.
The Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve encompasses 275 acres of remnant lowland dry forest and protects some of the last remaining native trees in the region. It is a dry, rugged, and degraded area that is gradually being reforested by the community of native plants that once dominated Waikoloa.
Native Plant Conservation
Waikoloa is one of the driest places in the Hawaiian archipelago and as such, known historic populations were concentrated near the sources of water; namely near Waikoloa’s coastline at ‘Anaeho‘omalu and Kalahuipua‘a. In the driest places in Hawai‘i, a very unique assemblage of plant species thrive. Chief among these plants is the Wiliwili tree. Wiliwili are important to people, place, and restoration efforts. They are a charismatic species with extremely light wood which made them useful in many applications such as floatation. Wiliwili were used for ama on wa‘a (canoe outriggers), olo (surfboards), and other floats used in fishing.