Endangered Plant Preserve, Villages of La‘i‘opua, Island of Hawai‘i

On behalf of Hawaiian Homes, and in association with Leonard Bisel Associates, Geometrician has been working to permit and design an endangered plant preserve in Kealakehe, North Kona. Several properties varying from 2 to 25 acres contain some of the rarest plants on earth within a degraded but still salvageable dry forest ecosystems. Only five individuals of aupaka (Isodendrion pyrifolium A. Gray) are known to still live in the wild; a few dozen more have been grown from seed in nearby nurseries and botanical gardens.

The other endangered species is uhiuhi (Caesalpinia kavaiensis H. Mann), a tree with dense, nearly-black heartwood. Perhaps a hundred of these trees still grow in the wild. Other rare plants, some not protected by endangered species laws, also grow within the project area. The plans for the preserve include preservation of remaining wild individuals, nurseries for rare and endangered species propagated from seeds and cuttings gathered locally, and outplanting of these species, with an educational and community component.

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