About Ho`omalu Ka`ū

Ho`omalu Ka`ū (HK) is a community-based, tax-exempt, nonprofit organized in March, 2011, in Nā`ālehu, District of Ka`ū, Hawai`i Island.  Its mission is “to perpetuate, protect, and conserve the lands, health, knowledge, cultures and history of Ka`ū and its people.”  This mission statement inspired the donation of 15 acres of undeveloped forest land on the main state highway (Highway 11) in the Manukā area of the District of Ka`ū to Ho`omalu.  The land is intended to be used as the site for a future heritage center—a place where the cultural, historical and traditional knowledge and artifacts of Ka`ū could be stored, preserved and accessed by residents and visitors.  The Heritage Center of Ka`ū is now in the planning stages with a committee of dedicated community members leading the way.

One of the distinctive characteristics of HK’s property is that it consists of intact dryland forest; remarkable because dryland forests in Hawai`i, indeed in the world, are disappearing at an alarming rate.  The land located is located about 1,800 feet (549 meters) above sea level.  It is adjacent to the State of Hawai`i’s Manukā Natural Area Reserve (NAR), the highest classification of state-owned conservation land, and is situated above the recently created South Kona Wilderness Area, a specially designated area with a moratorium on development.

With all this state land in conservation and protected in perpetuity, the addition of Ho`omalu’s land creates an even greater mosaic of protected habitat for native fauna and flora.  It also provides a site for public education about Hawaiian dryland forests and the plants and animals they support.  Fencing of the property has now been completed to exclude ungulate herbivores.  Boundary and topographical surveys, and in-depth botanical and archeological surveys have also been completed.  The botanical and archaeological survey reports may be downloaded here:

HK Botanical Survey Final 5-2014

HK Archaeological Survey Final 4-2014


Public Outreach Activities


In 2015 and 2016 Sustainable Bioresources assisted HK in presenting a series of public workshops in our area on dryland forest plants.  We also donated proceeds from our plant sales at the workshops  to Ho`omalu Ka`ū.  Here is a sample flyer describing the workshop and plant sale held at Discovery Harbour.


Dryland Forest Booklet

In 2015 Ho`omalu Ka`ū published a booklet titled: Native Plants of the Ka`u Dryland Forest, as a guide to fifteen of the most dominant native trees, shrubs and vines found on HK’s dryland forest property.  There are many more species to be found in dryland forests throughout the Hawaiian islands, but this booklet describes some of the many plants growing at the HK site. The Hawaiian name, the binomial scientific names, plant description, Hawaiian medicinal uses, cultural information, and propagation techniques are included, with photos and drawings illustrating each species.  We believe there is no other general publication in Hawai`i exclusively devoted to native dryland plants.


How to Obtain the Booklet

When the Sustainable Bioresources online store reopens, the booklet will be sold through the store.  Until then it may be ordered directly from Ho`omalu Ka`ū. The price of the booklet is $10.00 (USD) each plus $4.00 (USD) postage and handling.  For orders of multiple copies the total postage and handling fee will be fixed at $4.00.  Payments may be made by check or money order sent to Ho`omalu Ka`ū’s office mailing address:

Ho`omalu Ka`u

PO Box 384

Naalehu, HI 96772-0384






The Board of Directors for Ho`omalu Ka`u intends that, in some small way, this booklet will encourage people to be ‘conscientious conservationists’.


Ho`omalu Ka`u’s 2017 Board of Directors:

Wendy Scott-Vance, President

Charmaine Keanu, Vice President

Keoni Fox, Secretary/Treasurer

Blossom DeSilva, Director

Willy Iaukea, Director

Zachary DeBernardi, Director

Lehua Lopez-Mau, Director


For further information please contact Ho`omalu Ka`u:

Email:         hoomalukau@gmail.com

Address:     PO Box 384, Naalehu, HI 96772