Posted on Apr 18, 2024 in Forestry & Wildlife, Main, News Releases, slider


April 18, 2024


(HONOLULU) – Newly awarded grant funding through the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is boosting support for local projects addressing diverse aspects of urban and community forestry. The range of topics includes management plans at the county level, building capacity to expand agroforestry and food access, distributing trees grown by residents, and planting and caring for street and park trees.

The Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program, part of the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), will support the following three-year projects with U.S. Forest Service funding from the IRA:


    • ʻElepaio Social Services’ Aʻo Pulapula Cultural Agroforestry Nursery Project will establish a community tree nursery and host education and outreach events to serve communities in Waiʻanae, Mākaha, and Nānākuli. The project will build community capacity to care for and propagate indigenous trees.


    • County of Maui Department of Management’s Maui Urban Forest Management Plan – Building Capacity and Partnerships and Advancing Equity in Community Forestry will develop the first urban forest management plan for the island of Maui and engage community groups through the planning process.


    • Grow Some Good’s project Nā Māla Kaiāulu: Cultivating Resilient Communities through Agroforestry will establish an intergenerational food forest with community partners as a strategic response to interconnected challenges of food security, cultural preservation, and climate resilience.


    • Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, Inc., Restorative Resilience: Growing a Community Landscape for Lahaina responds to the Kahoma Village residents’ request to transform a public green space into an urban forest. The benefits of the project include food forest cultivation, community engagement events, and demonstrating Reef Friendly Landscaping.


    • Molokaʻi Land Trust’s project, Community Plant Production and Monthly Tree Giveaway for the Island of Molokaʻwill increase native tree production and distribution across the island and offer supporting educational events and workshops to students and community members with a focus on successful seedling establishment and growth.


    • Trees for Honolulu’s Future’s project, Trees for Pālolo…Planting Trees, Growing Community will increase tree canopy and food security, and offer support to the Pālolo community to manage newly planted trees along streets and in parks and yards.


Dr. Heather McMillen, Hawai‘i’s Urban Forester and Kaulunani Program Coordinator, celebrates each grant recipient, stating: “These projects demonstrate the depth and range of urban and community forestry work happening in Hawaiʻi, as well as the vital role trees play in promoting public health, connection to place, and restoring land to ʻāina.”

Koki Atcheson, Kaulunani IRA Community Partnerships Coordinator, said, “Urban and community forestry projects are unique in their ability to offer simultaneous benefits to ecological, social, and food systems among many others. These awards are evidence of organizations’ thorough preparation and effort to deepen relationships with nā kumu lāʻau (trees) and by doing so, shape a more resilient future for Hawaiʻi.”

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(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)

Photographs – Kaulunani Grant Program (Jan.-Sept., 2023)


For more information about the Kaulunani IRA Award Program, contact Koki Atcheson at [email protected].


Media Contact:

Ryan Aguilar

Communications Specialist

Hawai‘i Dept. of Land and Natural Resources

[email protected]