The Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program
focuses on improving the health and viability of trees in Hawai‘i communities through educational programs; financial support in the form of cost-share grants; technical training; Arbor Day promotions and public/private partnerships.
Kaulunani is a federally funded urban forestry program of Hawaii’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife operated through a contract by Smart Trees Pacific.
In 1991, Kaulunani was a new, yet temporary, U.S. Forest Service funded program placed with the Division of Forestry and Wildlife. 26 years later, Kaulunani remains a vital permanent program within DLNR, Division of Forestry and Wildlife with Hawaii’s very first State Urban Forester brought on in 2018.
Since its inception, Kaulunani has awarded more than $2.6 million to 376 organizations across the state, in the form of cost-share grants that were matched with $7 million in cash and in-kind contributions.
Kaulunani Mission Statement
Balance the urban and natural environment by encouraging, empowering and equipping the people of Hawai‘i to mālama the trees in our ‘āina.
The Kaulunani Program is guided by the State’s Forest Action Plan.
The primary goals of the urban and community forestry program are:
- Improve the understanding of the benefits of trees in urban areas and communities.
- Increase tree canopy cover.
- Reduce carbon emissions, conserve energy, improve air quality and increase other environmental benefits.
- Support community tree planting and tree demonstration projects.
- Support Arbor Day activities.
- Enhance the technical skills and knowledge of the urban forest industry.
- Expand research and educational efforts.
Kaulunani has grown from a program primarily focused on tree planting projects and education, to one that engages in challenging topics such as invasive species control, the role of trees in shoreline protection and restoration practices, measuring the environmental benefits of street trees, and other unique projects such as supporting chemical trials for control of the Erythrina Gall Wasp.
The key to the success of this program is the blend of partners, people, and projects. Project elements such as environmental change, advanced planning, leadership, volunteer commitment, community involvement, interagency partnerships, appropriate plant selection, proper horticultural procedures and maintenance became leading indicators of successful urban forestry projects.
Kaulunani helps communities improve the quality of life within the built environment through actively participating in urban forestry projects and gaining a better understanding of the role trees play in cities and neighborhoods.
To learn more about the program click here