The Ecosystem as a Whole

The vegetation continuum resides within the larger ecosystem of Kūkaniloko. The ecosystem can be divided into different forest, or wao, zones that were dictated by function and use. Certain zones implemented restrictions so that resources could regenerate, while other zones were intensively managed. Below are the zones that house the different sections of the vegetation continuum.

Heading photo

Upper Forest Zone

This zone was typically restricted from entry or extraction, as its sacredness was conserved so that resources could regenerate. The kapu, or restrictions, that were implemented allowed for a system to regain its balance and resilience. Resource management was very impractical in this zone (1), although this zone attributes several environmental benefits to the ecosystem. 
Strategies towards restoring this wao include using traditional and contemporary conservation practices with an emphasis on planting and establishing a diverse group of native tree species. 

Under the Canopy:

    Native Forest
    Transition Zone
Heading photo

Lower Forest Zone

Forestry management and extraction occurred in this area, although management was not as intensive as wao kānaka. Firewood and timber were typically harvested in this region, while also abstaining from over-extraction to maintain the biological diversity of these forests. 
Semi-managed forest implies there are more maintenance and management occurring. Strategies towards revitalizing this zone include a mixture of native species and modern species. Moreover, the presence of food crops begins to appear in this zone. 

Under the Canopy:

    Semi-Managed Forest
    Transition Zone
Heading photo

Agricultural Zone

The wao kānaka is where most labors occurred, with emphasis on the cultivation of food crops and utilitarian resources. Because this region falls within a dryland range, most agricultural practices to occur will maintain the dryland practices. 
A mixture of traditional and contemporary practices will be implemented in this region. To carry out such practices, there is a priority to revitalize the soil as it is an endowment to future generations (2). 

Under the Canopy:

    Agroforest
    Non-forested Agriculture
    Specialized Horticulture

Current Projects

Heading photo

Wao Nahele

Restoration Efforts

Learn more about some of the efforts towards restoring the native dryland forest in Wahiawā! 

Heading photo

Wao Lāʻau

Resource Regeneration

Reviving our precious cultural resources and cultivating connection to the land.

Heading photo

Wao Kānaka

Growing more than ʻai

The land is a reflection of who we are as a lāhui.

Hana Kaiaʻulu Schedule

Find out the next volunteering event within each wao.

  • 01

    December

    Pohaku Restoration around Kūkaniloko

    Wao Nahele

    Kūkaniloko Birthing Stones

    08:00 a.m. - 02:00 p.m.

  • 22

    December

    ʻUala planting day with HCCW

    Wao Kānaka

    Demo Plots 4

    10:30 a.m. - 02:00 p.m.

  • 29

    December

    Lei Making Workshop

    Wao Lāʻau

    Cultural Interpretive Center

    10:00 a.m. - 02:00 p.m.