Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods, an organization committed to preserving Hawaii’s tropical hardwood species, has teamed up with JTB Hawaii to create a new eco-tour on Hawaii Island.
The new tour travels along the slopes of Mauna Kea on Hawaii Island to a historic site, which was the personal property of King Kamehameha the Great—the first king of Hawaii. The site once housed a majestic forest of koa trees, Hawaii’s most famous indigenous hardwood.
Although, the land was cleared nearly 100 years ago for farming and ranching, a few koa trees remain.
The new Hawaiian Legacy Tours takes guests along the ancient Hawaiian “Umikoa Trail” to enjoy scenic vistas and see the area’s oldest trees. Lucky guests might even spot an endangered ‘Io (Hawaiian hawk) or Pueo (Hawaiian Owl) which reside on these lands. At the JTB Legacy Forest, each guest is invited to plant a koa tree seedling to honor an individual, commemorate an event, or serve as a family tree, as part of the tour.
With less than 10 percent of these of the original Hawaiian forest still in existence, guests will have an opportunity restore part of Hawaii’s culture and history, by planting seedlings culled from the original trees.
The tree-planting tour features:
- A welcome in the visitor center, a 1920s refurbished ranch home, which includes freshly baked scones
- Off road travel through the Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods historic koa forest on the slopes of Mauna Kea.
- Stunning vistas of the Pacific Ocean and stops to visit some of the oldest trees on the property.
- The option to plant a Koa Legacy Tree. The trees comes with a Certificate of Sponsorship, GPS coordinates, and access to a unique RFID tracking system that provides the ability to remotely map the tree’s growth online for years to come. Additional trees may be planted for $60 each.
- $20 from each tree is donated to the guest’s favorite charity, and $1 is donated to the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, which works to conserve lands in Hawaii.
- Shuttle service: Parties of 4 to 14 people can be transported from the airport, cruise line port and the Four Seasons Hualalai. Guests may also choose to meet at the on-site visitor center.
Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods