NEW! Find out more about our stream project here.
In ancient times the mauka zone of the ahupua`a was known as Wao Akua, or the realm of the gods, where people rarely went. These areas were important as they yielded such items as wood for canoes and bird feathers for capes and other items for the ali`i. Through today, the native forests of the uplands are important as they are the vast sponge that absorbs fresh rain water, which seeps into the ground, flows down to the valleys in streams, and keeps the people of Hawai`i, and our crops, alive.
An important part of the work and learning at Waipa is the resoration of our native forests. Upper Waipa was historically deforested by the Sandalwood trade, cattle ranching, and forest fire, and today is overrun by non-native grasses, shrubs and trees. In the past few years, over 2,000 native trees and shrubs have been established in a network of planting sites in the mauka riparian zone at Waipa. Among these, over 1,000 Koai’a trees were planted in 2010 alone.
Most of the seed for the outplantings was collected from within Waipa, and the surrounding areas. Waipa staff collect, propagate, and grow out the seeds and cuttings in our nursery until they are ready for outplanting.