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  • Writer's pictureAlaka`ina Foundation

Alaka’ina and Hawaii Pacific Foundations Support Hawaii Trust for Public Land (TPL)

The Alaka’ina Foundation is proud to be teamed with another NHO the Hawaii Pacific Foundation in support The Trust for Public Land’s Sentinel Program. This is a joint program between the federal government and the State of Hawaii to give to Hawaii land surrounding military bases and training areas turning them into conservation areas that can be used for cultural preservation and agriculture among other uses. It prevents building on these lands.

Our joint support includes that hiring of a program manager to manage the transfer. His name is Carlos Castillo who is a Coast Guard Veteran. Here is some background on Carlos:

Carlos Castillo is an Environmental Planner specializing in the social, economic, and environmental effects of land use planning, with a focus in the Hawaiian Islands and Pacific Region. Carlos has over 8 years of experience undertaking research and planning projects in the private and public sectors in collaboration with community groups, universities, government agencies and nonprofits. Mr. Castillo has advanced technical knowledge on land use and environmental planning, and experience with community engagement. Carlos holds a master’s degree in urban & Regional Planning with a focus in open space protection and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography with a focus in GIS and climate change. Carlos was born in Panama, resides in Kahala, is a dual citizen and enjoys big wave surfing, hiking, and sailing his Hobbie catamaran with his Fiancée.

Aloha and happy Lei Day! In celebration of Lei Day and aloha spirit, we mahalo YOU for supporting TPL’s “land for people” mission. Last weekend, we celebrated Earth Day and TPL’s 50th Anniversary year with a community impact day at Kalaeokaunaʻoa (aka Kahuku Point). Having our community experience and mālama this protected landscape made us ever more grateful for donors like you who make our work possible.

With Aloha, Leslie

A Day on The Land at Kahuku Point TPL celebrated Earth Day with our annual “A Day on The Land,” bringing together community members to care for the ʻāina at Kahuku Point on O‘ahu’s North Shore. More than 140 volunteers removed invasive plants, planted native plants, and helped to restore one of the few remaining intact coastal strand habitats on Oʻahu. Stretching five miles between Kawela Bay to Kahuku Point lies 630 acres surrounding Turtle Bay Resort, now forever protected by and for the community. Once destined for development, in 2015 the shoreline was safeguarded by Trust for Public Land, North Shore Community Land Trust, State of Hawaiʻi, City and County of Honolulu, the community and Turtle Bay Resort in perpetuity. The coastline holds strong cultural and natural significance to the community, is home to native wildlife including monk seals, and serves as a nesting site for Laysan albatross and green sea turtles. Volunteers from Oceanit, Ward Village, Bank of Hawaiʻi Foundation, First Hawaiian Bank Foundation, Hawaiʻi Gas, Hawaiian Electric, Macy’s, AES, Alexander & Baldwin, and James Campbell Company attended the workday. Central Pacific Bank Foundation, ALOHA Collection, Title Guaranty Hawaii, and Turtle Bay Resort also supported the day. TPL also sends a big mahalo to our friends at North Shore Community Land Trust for their partnership on the successful community event. Legacy Land Conservation Program Funding - APPROVED! We are THRILLED to share that on Friday, BLNR approved Legacy Land Conservation Program funding for three TPL-led community land protection efforts:

  • $2,688,300 for Palawai, located in Mauanwili, Oʻahu

  • $1,710,000 for Kamealoha Kuleana, located in Hāʻena, Kauaʻi

  • $1,446,000 for Makaliʻi, located in Maunawili, Oʻahu

Did you know that the State of Hawai‘i dedicates a portion of its annual revenue from real estate conveyance taxes to a Land Conservation Fund? Each year the State Legislature provides the Legacy Land Conservation Program (LLCP) with some of the money held in the Fund. The LLCP distributes this money through a competitive grants process for purchasing land and conservation easements that protect the following resources: agriculture, coastal, cultural/historic, habitat, natural areas, open space/scenic, parks, recreation/hunting, and watershed. Project Spotlight: ʻAʻala Park Murals Complete! With the support of dedicated funders and partners, TPL brought its national Parks for People program to Hawai‘i in 2020, beginning with a pilot project at ʻAʻala Park. The project seeks to lead a community participatory visioning and planning process where surrounding residents and businesses come together to articulate a shared vision for the park that honors its past and looks toward a shared future. We have listened closely to diverse community voices, activated the park with community-driven events, and added upgrades to the space to make it more welcoming. A milestone of this effort is the recent completion of the ‘A‘ala Park murals. We worked with the Kamehameha Schools Mural Club, Better Block Hawai‘i, American Savings Bank, and local artist Sergio Garzon to design and install murals on the park’s basketball court, restroom, skate park, sidewalk spaces, and park benches. The project received the approval and support of various City entities, including the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Mayor’s Office on Culture and the Arts, the Kalihi-Palama Neighborhood Board, and the Honolulu City Council. The beautiful murals have created smiles and been well received by park users. Join us at ‘A‘ala Park and enjoy Honolulu’s newest public art! A Day on the Hill In honor of TPL’s 50th anniversary, last week TPL volunteers from across the country flooded Capitol Hill in D.C. to lobby Congress on critical conservation funding measures, including the Outdoors for All Act. If passed, the legislation would expand outdoor recreational opportunities in urban and low-income communities across the nation. It will also expand federal park acquisition, planning, and construction funding eligibility to tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, Alaska Native organizations, and smaller rural communities. Mahalo to Congressman Ed Case and Congresswoman Jill Tokuda for meeting with our Hawai’i advocates including TPL Hawai‘i State Director Lea Hong, Hawai‘i Board Chair Steve Kelly and his daughter Petra, and Board Member Tom Reeve. We also met with the environmental staff of Senator Brian Schatz and Senator Mazie Hirono. We are thankful that Hawai’i’s Congressional delegation wholeheartedly supports federal funding for land conservation in Hawai’i and beyond. National Spotlight: Job Opening - Tribal & Indigenous Lands Director Trust for Public Land has long partnered with Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities to protect and return access, stewardship, and ownership of culturally important lands. Since 1989, TPL has worked with more than 100 Tribes and Indigenous/Native community organizations to help protect their traditional homelands and culturally significant places. Through these highly collaborative efforts we have protected and/or helped return more than 250,000 acres of land to Indigenous Peoples. We are currently collaborating with 30 Tribes and Indigenous/Native communities on 20 land projects. These efforts will collectively protect more than 500,000 acres, create 13 schoolyards and parks, and multiple policy efforts to create more opportunities for Indigenous communities to reclaim and care for important lands. TPL seeks to build on this body of work centered in our commitment to equity and community. We are seeking an experienced, passionate individual to lead, strengthen and expand TPL’s Tribal and Indigenous Lands program by combining their expertise with TPL’s tools and resources – click HERE to view the position description and apply.

MAHALO for your support of Trust for Public Land! If you would like to learn more about these highlighted projects, or about any of the nine land protection efforts we are leading across Hawaiʻi, please reach out to Leslie at or 808-470-2139. Since 1972, Trust for Public Land has been connecting Hawai‘i’s communities to the outdoors and to each, protecting over 76,000 acres via 49 conservation projects consisting of park and natural land, working farms and ranches, coastal landscapes, native forests, and important cultural sites. This work would not be possible without our many donors who love this ʻāina.

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