County offers grant to Hawaii Forest Industry Association


The Hawaii Forest Industry Association (HFIA) has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Hawaii County’s Department of Research and Development for its Ka Pilina Poina Ole, “Connection Not Forgotten” project.

This community-driven project provides interpretive materials and forest stewardship opportunities that connect two naturally and culturally significant destinations in North Kona; Kaupulehu Dryland Forest Preserve and Kalaemano Cultural Center.

With grant monies, HFIA has already initiated the project, which involves sustaining fragile endangered dry forest ecosystems and sharing their unique historical, cultural, restoration, and scientific aspects to benefit Hawaii residents and visitors.

A Mauka-Makai (mountain to ocean) “Connection Not Forgotten” informal talk story evening is 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25 at the Kalaemano Cultural Center. Call 933-9411 no later than Feb. 19 to RVSP for this free event.

Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator Yvonne Yarber Carter has started developing educational and interpretive materials, stories for an audio story center, and curriculum for the stewardship outreach program. The story center will feature live voices from oral histories, bringing connections to the past alive. Educational materials include field learning guides for youth visitors.

These rich remembrances and cultural stories are made possible through a partnership with the Kuulei Keakealani, director of the Kaupulehu Cultural Center at Kalaemano, who has deep ancestral ties to the lands.

Hawaiian Culture Educator Keoki Apokolani Carter is pilot testing his Mea Laau youth cultural education program, which focuses on native plants and trees for tools and implements and offers suggestions for alternatives to endangered species.

This project gives residents and visitors a unique opportunity to experience and understand traditional Hawaiian use of ahupua’a lands, the significance of place names, and the importance of seeing the interconnection between preservation of the mauka (mountain) and makai (ocean) environs.

Other project supporters include Kamehameha Schools, Bishop Museum, Change Happens Foundation, Group 70 Foundation, Hawaii Forest Institute, Arthur Lawrence Mullaly Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation, Kohala Center, Kukio Resort, TryLookInside Graphics, and A&B Foundation.

The Hawaii Forest Industry Association (HFIA) is dedicated to responsible forest management. In addition to the Ka Pilina Poina Ole “Connection Not Forgotten” project, HFIA sponsors Hawaii’s Woodshow (March 27-April 11 at the Honolulu Academy of Arts) and Hawaii’s Wood brand, is working with community partners to create the Pana’ewa Zoo Discovery Forest in Hilo, and serves as an advocate for Hawaii’s diverse forest industry.

Established in 1989, HFIA is a nonprofit corporation founded by and for people committed to managing and maintaining healthy and productive forests. HFIA’s programs promote healthier forests, increased business in Hawaii’s estimated $30.7 million annual forest industry, and more jobs within the sector.

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