Wailupe Forest Is Ripe For Purchase

The Trust for Public Land is appealing to East Oahu residents to help save Wailupe Community Forest before Dec. 31 — the deadline to raise the final $50,000 in private dollars needed to buy the 9.5 acres, which are rich in history, culture and natural resources.

TPL native lands project manager Laura Kaakua said the landowner now is willing to sell. About $4 million is coming from the city Clean Water and Natural Lands Fund, and TPL is working on the final amount.

“It’s the trailhead for Wailupe Valley Trail and includes unique ancient cultural sites and native species,” said Kaakua. Herself a Hawaii Kai resident, she hopes people can spare some kala to permanently protect the area from development — a crusade Norma Carr began 30 years ago. For more information, call 524-8562.

The area contains guardian stones, altars, heiau, irrigation channels, elevated stones, walls, platforms and enclosures that hold stories of ancient people and their gods. The mauka end is a critical habitat for the endangered ‘elepaio. It’s also an access point for hunting, hiking, plant gathering, bird watching and more.

Send tax-deductible gifts to “Wailupe Community Forest” by Dec. 31, memo The Trust for Public Land, at 1003 Bishop St. #740, Honolulu, HI 96813.