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Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative

Kahala Cares

The Kahala Hotel & Resort Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative

The Kahala Hotel & Resort, together with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI) have partnered to plant 100,000 endemic koa trees and create Oahu’s first Hawaiian Legacy Forest. Located in the pristine Waimea Valley on the North Shore, this area is as rich in historic cultural significance as it is in natural beauty. Home to many of Hawaii’s rarest and most beautiful plants, visiting these lush forests and walking along the ancient trails is like stepping back in time. Koa is a magnificent and revered native tree found nowhere else on Earth. This prized wood was once reserved for Hawaiian Royalty. When the outside world discovered this magnificent wood they applied western methods of harvesting—clearing more than 90% of all koa forests. Through the efforts of The Kahala Hotel & Resort, HLRI and other caring individuals like you, these incredible koa trees are making a comeback. These trees belong to all generations, and with your help we can save Hawai‘i’s forests...one tree at a time. Your Koa Legacy Tree will be planted along wildlife corridors to provide native habitat for Hawai‘i’s rarest birds like the endangered akepa and ‘akiapölä‘au (which are completely dependent on native forests for their survival).

These Legacy Trees are part of a managed forest ecosystem and will not be harvested. The ultimate goal of HLRI is to create a sustainable model that inspires others to come together to take action. By increasing awareness for how the simple act of planting a tree has a huge impact on our environment, HLRI, with partners like you, can change the face of the planet. Hawaiian Koa Legacy Trees Legacy Trees can honor an individual, commemorate an event, or memorialize a loved one. Every tree dedication is a living legacy and a gift which grows grander year after year. We provide simple, affordable, giving solutions which benefit all of us today and future generations tomorrow. A vibrant koa tree adds to the biodiversity of the Islands, provides native habitat, and sequesters carbon from the global atmosphere year-round.


To support the new initiative, The Kahala Hotel & Resort will apply an optional daily fee of $8 plus tax on your guest folio that will go towards a koa tree reforestation fund. For every $40 collected, a koa tree will be planted in The Kahala Legacy Forest located in Waimea Valley on the North Shore of O‘ahu. Guests also have the option of donating the full $40 amount to purchase a tree, and will receive a special certificate that includes global positioning system coordinates, which can be used to track the exact location of their tree online.

You may choose to opt out of this program at anytime during your stay at The Kahala Hotel & Resort by informing our staff members or the Front Desk staff can assist you at check in or check out with no obligation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who plants the trees?

All planting is done through HLRI as part of their campaign to plant 1.3 million endemic Hawaiian trees throughout the Islands.

How can I identify my Legacy Tree?

Our Information Technology specialists have integrated GPS/GIS (Global Positioning System / Geographic Information System) mapping systems with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tagging of each tree to track each Legacy Tree. Each tree is RFID tagged by an exact set of geographic coordinates allowing the tree owner to locate their trees on maps and by satellite imagery. You will be able to go online and use these coordinates to look at your specific trees from space using applications like Google Earth.

When will the Legacy Tree(s) be planted?

In nature, there is a season for everything and other than scheduled planting tours, the majority of our seedlings are planted during the rainy season (December through April). Land preparation, fencing, seed collection, and seed planting occur throughout the year.

Exactly what does the recipient get?

Although neither the giver nor the recipient has any ownership of the tree, the recipient will receive a certificate of planting. They will also receive a personalized gift card with a note from the giver on recycled card stock.

What other trees and plants will you be planting?

Our goal is to reintroduce a native ecosystem. We will also be planting native under-story trees and shrubs like mämane, naio, ‘iliahi (sandalwood), ‘öhi‘a, kölea, ‘äkala and ferns.


  • One Legacy Tree can absorb enough carbon to set a one week vacation in Hawai‘i for a family of four.
  • Two Legacy Trees can supply enough oxygen annually to support a family of four.
  • Over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion. The beneficiary for these dollar savings is our society.
  • The ‘akiapölä‘au is an endemic woodpecker found only on the island of Hawai‘i. This amazing bird depends on koa for its survival. Its favorite prey, the larva of the endemic long-horned woodboring beetle, is found in dead branches of koa trees.