‘A`ohe hua o ka mai`a i ka lā ho’okaāhi

When a task is done together, no task is too big.

 -`Ōlelo No`eau 

Adopt-a-Kipuka is a community-driven program that enables business and volunteer groups opportunities to malama ‘aina and steward selected portions of the Kuliouou Ridge Trail for one year.  By adopting a site, volunteers help care for, and ensure the survival of hundreds of native trees and plants, prevent further erosion and forest degradation, and offer sustainable solutions that  improve Hawai‘i’s precious natural resources. Volunteers also help create a positive experience for other hikers and hopefully inspire them to also care for the beautiful Kuli`ou`o`u watershed.

Because Adopt-a-Kipuka volunteers determine when they make their site visits based on their schedules, this is a flexible volunteer opportunity.

Why Kuli‘ou‘ou Ridge Trail?

Kuli‘ou‘ou Valley is rich in cultural history and houses an array of diverse natural resources. The Kuli`ou`ou trail is one of the most popular hiking destinations on O‘ahu due to its recreational value and beauty. The trail is an important watershed for East Honolulu and impacts the health of Maunalua Bay. However, because of its appeal and subsequent overuse, the trail suffers from forest degradation from land use change, invasive species, erosion from hikers cutting trails, heavy foot traffic, and lack of state funding to properly maintain the trail.

What is a Kipuka?

A kipuka is an “island” or area of land that is surrounded by lava flows. In terms of ecosystem restoration, a kipuka refers to an “island” of restoration. In these small areas of the forest, invasive vegetation are cleared and replaced with native trees, grasses and shrubs. Over time, the kipukas will connect to form a corridor of native vegetation, providing habitat for important native species and creating a more resilient ecosystem for the future. 

Since October 2021, Aloha Tree Alliance has hosted monthly volunteer workdays to restore the trail and forest ecosystem by creating kipukas, planting trees and remediating the many shortcuts on the trail. 

Volunteers Like You Are Key 

Volunteers are integral to the care and maintenance of our restoration sites to ensure long-term sustainability of the trail and its precious forest ecosystem. We invite you to join us, meet terrific people and, if you haven’t been introduced to Kuli`ou`ou, let us introduce you. Tree bathing, giving back to the earth and refreshments will start your weekend in a positive and uplifting way. Sign up to volunteer here

Interested in Adopt-a-Kipuka?

Email us at info@alohatreealliance.org