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EXTP Newsletter
November 2021

Malama Hawaii’s Native Forests: Help Protect, Preserve and Restore Their Natural Wonder

Hawaii is the world’s most isolated group of islands and a haven for a large number of endemic plant and animal species, many of which have become extinct or are currently endangered. The health of Hawaii’s forests is critical as each are valuable and unique ecosystems sustaining native and non-native flora and fauna. Strengthened by missions of protecting, preserving and restoring Hawaii’s native forest species, a growing number of community and nonprofit groups, organizations and programs have committed to the practice of caring for the forest, offering volunteer opportunities for everyone —including your clients — to help preserve these natural treasures.

The Leeward Haleakala Watershed Reforestation Project is a coalition aiming to restore 43,000 acres of dryland forest between Haleakala volcano’s 3,500- and 6,500-foot elevations. The Maui nonprofit plants, maps and surveys native plant species over hundreds of acres, also removing invasive plant species. In addition to restoring plant life, reforestation projects like this one also protect and restore the habitats of many of Hawaii’s most-endangered native bird species. Your clients can learn more about Leeward Haleakala Watershed Reforestation Project’s volunteer opportunities here. As they look forward to experiencing the zipline courses of Skyline Hawaii, share with your Maui-bound clients the company’s commitment to protecting the natural landscapes that are home to its eco-adventures and tours. Since 2002, Skyline Hawaii has planted more than 8,000 native trees, replacing non-native eucalyptus trees — which are harmful to endemic birds and require excessive water — with native koa trees. Some of the koa planted by the company are now over 40 feet in height and provide preferable habitats for native birds and insects. Skyline Hawaii donates 10 percent of its profits to environmental nonprofits. Clients can book a tour with Skyline Hawaii here.

The Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative is a nonprofit working to reforest endemic trees and restore native wildlife habitats. Suggest your clients support its native-tree-planting efforts on Oahu by sponsoring a seedling and monitoring its growth in the years to come via RFID tracking. To make native-tree reforestation even more personal, encourage your clients to plant the seedling they sponsor in-person during a special tree-planting ceremony at Gunstock Ranch. A variety of experiences can be incorporated from a private picnic lunch to a horseback tour of the property. Clients can learn more here.

Island of Hawaii
Suggest clients bound for the Island of Hawaii participate in a volunteer workday with the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative. The Waikoloa area is one of Hawaii’s driest, while the 275-acre Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve within it protects some of the region’s last remaining native trees. The nonprofit’s mission aims to rebuild a native-dominant forest with a thriving ecosystem in the area. Clients can find more information on volunteering here. Yet another hands-on reforestation experience for clients on Hawaii Island is offered by the Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project. The tallest mountain on Earth measured from the sea floor, Mauna Kea is home to unique forests providing a protective home for endangered native plants and animals. The native palila bird is one of most threatened of these, reliant on native mamane trees. The Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project is dedicated to restoring the mountain’s once plentiful mamane forests so palila and other endemic bird species can multiply and thrive. Note that interested clients will need to drive their own 4x4 vehicle! Have clients visit here for more information on the nonprofit’s volunteer workdays.

Festivals of Hawaii

Hawaii's Woodshow Na Laau o Hawaii 2021
November 20-December 05, 2021

Island of Hawaii
Thanksgiving Weekend at Volcano Village Art Studio
November 26-28, 2021

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What's New

You might want to suggest your marathoner clients to lace up their running shoes and start training if they’re visiting Oahu in December! That’s because it’s not too late for them to participate in the annual Honolulu Marathon, which returns December 12. The fourth-largest marathon in the United States, thousands of runners from around the world are expected to take on its scenic 26.2-mile route along Oahu’s south coast, beginning at Ala Moana Beach Park and into downtown Honolulu, past Iolani Palace and through Waikiki, then climbing around Leahi (aka Diamond Head State Monument) along the island’s south shore to suburban Hawaii Kai. The course then heads back along Kamehameha Highway to Leahi and the marathon’s finish line in Waikiki’s Kapiolani Park. Got clients preferring a shorter running challenge? The Honolulu Marathon’s Kalakaua Merrie Mile and Start to Park 10K events offer family-friendly courses for runners of all age and experience levels. Have your clients get all the details at https://www.honolulumarathon.org.

Malama Hawaii

With a hope of inspiring mindful travel while in Hawaii, almost 100 businesses and volunteer organizations across the Hawaiian Islands have partnered to create the Malama Hawaii program. Think of it as more than just an invitation to visit Hawaii, but a unique and uplifting experience inviting your clients to visit in a way that offers something back to Hawaii. A visit where they personally give the gift of their malama (“care”) to restore, perpetuate and regenerate Hawaii’s places, landscapes and natural resources through their volunteer efforts.


Malama Hawaii volunteer projects welcoming and truly appreciating your clients desire to work with them range from reforestation and tree planting to self-directed beach cleanups, ocean-reef preservation and more. As an incentive and mahalo (thank you) for the positive impact of volunteering, multiple Malama Hawaii hotel partners are even offering complimentary additional room nights and special surprises to guests participating in qualified volunteer community-giving projects and activities.

Click this link for a list of hotel, airline and volunteer organizations on Kauai, Oahu, Maui and the island of Hawaii offering voluntourism opportunities and special offers as part of the Malama Hawaii program.


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