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In windward O’ahu, Hawaii, Kualoa Ranch is home to 3,850-acres of arable agriculture and a dramatic, steep wilderness that is set aside for conservation. First bought from King Kamehameha in 1850, part of the property contains the most sacred land in O’ahu, and three ancient districts remain intact: Kualoa, Hakipu’u and Ka’a’awa. Kualoa’s vision has always been to enrich people’s lives by preserving the land and its heritage. Agricultural operations, day excursions and cultural programmes are designed in harmony with nature and seek to shine a light on Hawaii’s ancient culture.
Education is a crucial part of Kualoa’s malama’ āina (care for and preserve the native environment) mantra. This includes promoting understanding for traditional Hawaiian values, reverence for the natural environment, and respect for the host Hawaiian culture and the sacred history of Kualoa. Cultural and environmental immersion is not only part of employee training, but also every guest experience. Conservation efforts include the upkeep and restoration of the 125-acre, 800-year-old ancient Hawaiian Moli`i fishpond, and protecting rare plants.
Community is also an essential part of Kualoa’s work, and about 14,000 local school children participate in its subsidised education programs each year. Kualoa also supports the purchasing of local products and services and will use local resources over imported whenever possible. The Kualoa Ranch Foundation has been recently set up to help younger generations better understand the needs of the local community.
Kualoa Ranch joined The Long Run in 2018 and committed to a holistic balance of the 4Cs – Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce – as a means to contribute meaningfully to the biodiversity and the people of their local region.
Some of the ongoing initiatives include the upkeep and restoration of the 125-acre, 800-year-old ancient Hawaiian Moli`i fishpond, where employees and volunteer community workgroups remove invasive plants and fish species. Other projects include protecting rare and endangered plants by fencing off areas with high concentrations of native plants, re-planting endangered plants, restoring taro patches (lo‘i), clearing streams, rebuilding natural rock walls and invasive weed control. Participating groups in these projects include community groups, company projects, student groups and employees. The goal is to expand participation to guests shortly by providing unique voluntourism opportunities. Kualoa supports these initiatives through its Education and Stewardship Departments.
Being a good ‘corporate citizen’ is a fundamental goal for Kualoa. The most notable way it does this is through education programs, headquartered at the Hakipuʽu Educational Center. About 14,000 local school children participate in its subsidised programs each year. Kualoa also supports the purchasing of local products and services and will use local resources over imported whenever possible. Also, Kualoa remains dedicated to its core business of agriculture and has a long-term goal of serving many of the products it grows to guests as well as supporting local farmers in the area. Whenever possible, Kualoa strives to provide support to neighbourhood groups, schools, events and activities by contributing monetary donations, in-kind donations, providing employee volunteers and encouraging staff to participate in community committees, boards and projects.
Kualoa has an incredibly rich Hawaiian cultural history. Hawaiian legends and recorded history illustrate the significance and uniqueness of Kualoa’s lands to the ancient Hawaiian people. It is part of the company mission to honour and perpetuate an understanding of this legacy. Hawaiian cultural sensitivities and protocols are respected and interpreted through the assistance of outside experts as well as dedicated staff members. Kualoa’s Human Resources Department retains a dedicated Cultural Trainer who presents monthly classes to all of Kualoa’s 300+ employees on Hawaiian culture and history. Tours are also monitored to ensure guests receive a proper and correct Hawaiian cultural experience. More than half of the employees of Kualoa are of native Hawaiian ancestry, and several are educated in the language and culture. Kualoa also is proud of the many educational exhibits throughout the property that help communicate different aspects of Hawaiian history.
Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve is owned and managed by the eighth generation descendants of Dr Gerritt P. Judd. Kualoa’s mission is to enrich people’s lives by preserving Kualoa’s sacred lands and celebrating its history. All tours and commercial activities enable Kualoa to keep the area undeveloped so that future generations will be able to enjoy them as well.