lahaina map
lahaina map
lahaina map
lahaina map

Ma uka foliage graphic

Our ma uka restoration aims to better connect Lahaina to the life-giving waters of Pu‘u Kukui – one of the wettest places on the planet. Our hope is to revive the abundance that led a 19th century Native Hawaiian historian to call Lahaina, “he mahina ‘ai no ka Mokupuni ‘o Maui” (the food garden for the island of Maui) and brought Queen Lili‘uokalani to reference lush beds of palapalai ferns in mele inspired by the time she spent there. The plan to restore the natural ecosystem of this upper area will extend the tree line from the upland rainforests into the lower elevations, to create groundcover, retain moisture in the soil and cool the ‘āina. The rejuvenated native ecosystem will reconnect the community to these lands, by creating opportunities for education, as well as cultural practices and experiences.

  • We hope to partner with the community, our agricultural tenants and the staff, students and ‘ohana from Lahaina, area schools and Kamehameha Schools Maui — to restore the dryland forest partially with plants propagated from seeds collected from lā‘au Hawai‘i naturally growing in West Maui. Potential native plants include wiliwili, ‘ōhi‘a, ‘a‘ali‘i, ‘ūlei and pili.
  • We envision an effective fencing system protecting the native ecosystem restoration from wild animals.

“How our ancestors saw this place, and how they sustained themselves for thousands of years, those are now the solutions to our problems today.”


Ma waena foliage graphic

On the mid-elevation lands, KS envisions the re-emergence of Ka Malu ‘Ulu o Lele, the renowned canopy of food trees that historically nourished Lahaina. We will work with the tenants and community partners to re-establish and expand agricultural areas, encouraging more food cultivation and greater food sustainability for Maui. The upper portion of this zone will integrate food and other trees with pasturing. Our goal is to return groves of kumulā‘au that were once a staple of Lahaina, possibly featuring trees such as ‘ulu, mango, kukui and avocado. Alongside this agroforestry, we want to raise livestock for food production and to limit the growth of non-native grasses. The lower portion will feature diversified agriculture and accommodate community plans for a memorial and educational opportunities. We hope it will be a place that supports both food abundance and community abundance.

  • We want to work with the community and government to better manage fresh water in Lahaina, Kaua‘ula, Ku‘ia and Kahoma to provide for the social, cultural, economic, housing, safety, sustainability, agricultural and environmental needs of the people of the area.
  • We envision kalo farmers in the region with sufficient stream water to meet their needs.
  • We envision agricultural and kuleana users receiving wai through efficiently and effectively managed water systems, with minimal water waste.
  • We want to continue to support our current agricultural tenants, including Ku‘ia Agricultural Education Center/Hawai‘i Farmers Union Foundation and Maui Ku‘ia Estate Chocolate.
  • We see an effective fencing system protecting native vegetation and crops from wild animals.

“Take a look at some of the new pulapula, the resiliency of our ‘ulu. The fact that they are still going, still strong … Let that be a testament of the will of our people and the strength of our ‘āina.”


Ma kai water graphic

Our goal for our Ku‘ia lands ma kai of the Lahaina Bypass is to help Lahaina’s recovery. We are committed to a collaborative approach that rebuilds a vibrant town with the appropriate mix of land uses to meet the needs of the community. These lands could include a school or other educational facilities, open space, areas for ecosystem restoration and cultural practices, parks, commercial and community centers, and housing for Lahaina residents. We are currently in conversations with community members, stakeholders, government officials, and many others to explore what rebuilding Lahaina the right way could look like.

  • We look to establish a sustainable local economy across our Ku‘ia lands that employs Lahaina residents in a variety of industries, including food production and regenerative tourism in the Ma Waena and Ma Uka zones, as well as creative industries, and other entrepreneurial and small business opportunities in the Ma Kai zone.
  • We envision this area providing a spectrum of options to address the pressing community need for housing.
  • We see open spaces connecting people, ‘āina and culture.
  • We hope to retain the natural topography that contributes to recharging the aquifer and ultimately aiding in the restoration of Mokuhinia, the freshwater pond that surrounded the sacred island, Moku‘ula.

“Lahaina can become the example on how we move forward for Hawai‘i.”


Moku‘ula and Mokuhinia mountain graphic

Our effort to mālama wai throughout the ahupua‘a connects us to one of the Lahaina community’s highest priorities of restoring the wahi pana of Moku‘ula and Mokuhinia. As Lahaina’s largest spring and stream-fed fishpond, Mokuhinia encircled the sacred islet of Moku‘ula, a seat of immense political and spiritual power where ruling ali‘i from Pi‘ilani to Kamehameha III made their home. When Lahaina served as the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, its fertile lands were covered with ‘ulu, kalo, niu and many other crops that nourished and sustained communities. The sugar industry’s diversion of water eventually resulted in the cultural landmark being covered up. Our hope is that the return of wai to the former wetland will help restore the heart of Lahaina, bringing abundance to all its people.

“If Moku‘ula get water, every place get water. And that means we’re in the right direction.”


A message from the CEO

“Our vision is to see Lahaina flourish again as a place of abundance.”

Read more »


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Share your mana‘o

We remain committed to listening to the community. Please feel free to share your mana‘o. We will read everything that is submitted and keep all of it in mind as we holomua together toward restoration of Lahaina. While we will not be able to respond to all comments, questions and concerns, all mana‘o will be considered.

* Quotes from Lahaina leaders are included to illustrate the community-based inspiration helping to guide Kamehameha Schools’ stewardship approach to ‘āina in West Maui. Their voices matter to us, but the inclusion of these leaders’ mana‘o is not meant to suggest they have endorsed these specific proposals.