Sustainable Stewardship

Cultural belief and practice

At ‘Iole Steward Center, we are guided by the values, principles and wisdom of Mālama ʻĀina or to care for and properly steward the land. This cultural belief and practice of our kupuna or ancestors date back to the 14 th and 15 th century to chief Maʻilikūkahi, the island of Oahu’s 8 th Paramount King and architect of the ahupuaʻa system. The shared aspiration for a Mālama ʻĀina mindset and the responsible management of an ahupuaʻa system is to provide staple crops, clean water for drinking and agriculture, and to develop resources for tools, clothing, and artifacts for a material culture and thriving lāhui , Native Hawaiian peoples. Mālama ʻĀina is a holistic worldview of natural elements (such as winds, sun, moon, stars, water) and environmental ecosystems that are interconnected with man’s co-existence as part of the living world. Thus, it is this island lens that is core to our natural landscape which is an essential totality of Island Consciousness.
Lo`i kalo - Taro field
Understanding the mana or spiritual force(s) of natural phenomenon and their role in shaping the environment is vital to man’s cohabitation, survival and island mindfulness. Thus, Sustainable Stewardship is the pono or proper, respectful, fair, and harmonious management of the ʻāina (land) and wai (water) in unison with supernatural forces to provide for the abundance of food and materials for the ultimate health and wellbeing of the people and community. The commitment to protect and preserve Sustainable Stewardship practices by sharing indigenous knowledge and passion to nurture thriving communities is Hawaiian, cultural resilience. In doing so, we aspire to perpetuate an enduring love and affection for the land, natural environment, and cultural resources, or Aloha ʻāina.

Stewardship & Land Management

Mauka management – 2400 acres of prime agricultural lands

  • Restoration of King Kamehameha the Great’s lo‘i kalo, taro patches (5 acres by 2023 and 12 acres by 2025)
  • Reforestation of native Hawaiian hard wood trees and fauna to protect Kohala’s watershed and alpine forest
  • Removal of approximately 907 acres of invasive species

Makai management – 379 acres of prime ocean front lands

  • 4 ancient cultural sites at Kauhola Point dating back to King Kamehameha and Chief Nae‘ole

Water management

  • Built in the mid-to late 1800s, Bond and Watt tunnels provides approximately 300,000 to 500,000 gallons of water.
  • The Kohala ditch runs through the ahupua‘a of ‘Iole
  • Multiple ancient springs and auwai or irrigation system still intact

Iole Steward Center collaboration with Natural Resource Data Solutions for an online

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