Forests are the earth's most important resource; and one acre of forest is lost every second! Our primary project focuses on intensive restoration for the preservation of Keau'ohana State Forest Reserve, the largest and most intact lowland native rainforest remaining (< 1,000ft ) in the State of Hawai'i. This restoration site serves as a living classroom for many community members/student groups to learn about vegetation issues and sustainable solutions to Hawaii's environment at large.
Hawaii's native plants face great pressure from invasive species and loss of habitat. Protecting the few remaining native forests such as Keau'ohana is crucial to preserve Hawai'i's unique cultural and biological resources. As the Hawaiian island ecosystems continue to be lost to development, agriculture and invasive species, there is an urgent need for conservation planning and implementation.
Our efforts assure that Keau'ohana will continue to serve as the most important remaining habitat for the endangered ha'iwale (Cyrtandra nanawalensis), as well as many other rare native plant species. HER restoration work has positive rippling effects not only for the forest proper, whose many plant lives are allowed to exist, but the forest remains as a last and necessary representation to students and stewards who wish to contribute to Hawaii's historical heritage and environmental betterment.
Though the prioritization of forests is invaluable in preserving an endless network of organisms, it secures our livelihood as humans, who rely upon healthy ecosystem services and a stable climate. The educational component of our work helps the local community understand how to support the lowland environment at large, by making wise plant choices for sustainable living in their own lives.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).