Our Mission

To promote and assist in the reforestation of Hawai‘i forest land with the endemic Hawaiian species of trees and plants that originally grew in such locations, thereby assisting in watershed protection and expansion of critical habitat for native species; to participate and fund research into Hawaiian animal and plant life with the objective of expanding the native forests of Hawaii; to acquire land and conservation easements for the planting of endemic Hawaiian plants and trees; to accomplish the mission in a way that enhances the understanding of the integral relationship between the Hawaiian culture, tradition, and history with the resource management of the endemic Hawaiian forest; to develop new and creative methodologies to advance the optimal use and economic benefit of forest products and the sustainable planting of trees; and to monitor conservation easements for existing lands.

Reforesting Hawai‘i

Ecosystem Restoration

Public Benefit



Hawai‘i is the only place in the United States where tropical rainforests and cloud forests exist. Sugar, pineapple, and cattle ranching have destroyed these native forests. Our mission is to rebuild these natural environments and restore the diversity and integrity of the native ecosystem. By doing this, we will help create a better future for all living things. Our ultimate goal 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 impacts our environment, we, with partners like you, can change the face of the planet.

Ecosystem Restoration

The naturally occurring ravines in this formerly forested area provide an ideal platform for ecosystem restoration. Native plants attract native wildlife, and over time, the natural mauka-makai (mountain to ocean) corridors will be reestablished.

Koa Legacy Trees are being planted along these wildlife corridors to provide native habitat for Hawaii's rarest birds like the endangered akepa and akiapolaʻau. These Legacy Trees are part of a managed forest ecosystem and will not be harvested.

In addition to the Koa Legacy Trees, we will also be planting native understory trees and shrubs like māmane, naio, ‘iliahi (sandalwood), ‘ōhi‘a, kōlea, ‘ākala and ferns. These practices not only improve watershed and stream quality, but coral reef habitat as well.

The Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI) is a Hawaii-based non-profit organization focused on the return of the native Hawaiian forest.  There is a great deal of public benefit with the return of native forests in Hawaii. These include:


  • Watershed Restoration - Water quality and quantity increase on forested lands.
  •  Soil Conservation - Forest cover reduces soil erosion and helps soil development.
  •  Carbon Sequestration - Trees fix large quantities of carbon from the CO2 in the atmosphere.
  •  Air quality - Trees generate oxygen as they grow.
  •  Aesthetics - Forested landscapes appeal to people and make desirable view sheds.
  •  Cultural Resources - Many of the native tree species and understory native plants that follow    the native forest establishment are collected by native Hawaiians and used in cultural practices.
  •  Invasive Species Control - As native forests are reestablished, invasive species are removed for planting or shaded out by the new forest.
  •  Wildlife Habitat - Native forests provide habitat for a wide range of native birds and animals.
  •  Agricultural Economics - Many native trees like Koa, O’hia, and sandalwood have high economic value and, as they die of natural causes, can be sustainably harvested to generate income for the landowner.

Plant a

Koa Legacy Tree



Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative

PO Box 22435 Honolulu, HI 96823




Phoenix Award Winner  for Excellence in Sustainability and Conservation

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