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"Hoʻi ke ao o ke kuahiwi"

The cloud returns to the mountain

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“He aliʻi ka ʻaina, he kauwa ke kanaka”

The land is the chief, man is its servant

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Uhiwaiʻs four founders shared a dedication to community-based natural and cultural resource protection efforts, and saw a need to expand the capacity of small, community-based conservation organizations addressing big challenges. They saw a need for a streamlined, cost-effective alternative for fundraising, donations, grantsmanship, and community engagement that minimized administrative fees, funder-driven mission shift, and maximized self-determination of programs based on ecological need and community priority. So after 15 years of working together and wanting more from the organizations we worked, volunteered for, or aware of, they decided to create an independent entity to fill gaps in funding, expand outreach capacity, and offer flexibility in addressing the dynamic environmental and programmatic needs that arise when working within natural areas and processes.

Uhiwai was formed in 2018 and is a 501(c)(3). 

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Who We Are

‘A‘ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia
No task is too big when done together by all

Uhiwai O Haleakalā is a 501c3 nonprofit organization established in 2018, dedicated to restoring and protecting our native ecosystems.  Our primary focus currently is on the leeward slopes of Haleakalā, at Kula, Kanaio, Kahikinui, Nākula, ‘Ahihi-Kina’u, and Nuʻu to support regional reforestation along with cultural and environmental education efforts.  Our Board members are experienced in natural resource management, Hawaiian cultural education, business and accounting practices. Uhiwai collaborates and partners with organizations and community groups to support comprehensive on-the-ground restoration efforts and community-based stewardship programs.

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Our Mission

Uhiwai O Haleakalā was formed to support efforts to protect and restore native ecosystems and watersheds, to improve the quality and quantity of freshwater resources, to perpetuate Hawaiian cultural resources and practices, to support rural economic opportunities, and to engage the community in these efforts.

Our mission: To protect and restore native ecosystems and watersheds, to improve the quality and quantity of freshwater resources, to perpetuate Hawaiian cultural resources and practices, to support rural economic opportunities, and to engage the community in these efforts.

Uhiwai is the mist that settles on the slopes of the mountain at the 4,000-6,000ft. elevation, offering fresh water to the forest and people of the region.

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Board of Directors

The Uhiwai Board of Directors currently consists of four colleagues who have contributed to conservation from mauka to makai for nearly 15 years.

President Andrea Buckman brings experience implementing and managing large-scale native habitat restoration efforts on Maui, starting at Auwahi and continuing with the Leeward Haleakalā Watershed Restoration Partnership (LHWRP).

Vice President Keahi Bustamente worked for many years both at Auwahi and for the LHWRP. He now oversees the State's native invertebrate management program and brings expertise in botany, native invertebrates, and implementing native habitat restoration.

Secretary Kaliko Spenser also worked in conservation with LHWRP and is an accomplished artist and cultural practitioner specializing in kapa making, traditional dyes, and weaving. She  oversees sustainability programs at Windward Community College. 

Treasurer January Asbury is a bookkeeper by trade and has contributed to numerous conservation and community events in Hawaiʻi as a volunteer, board member, and advisor. 

We want to expand our board expertise and capacity and will be seeking new members in 2020!

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“Mohala i ka wai ka maka o ka pua”

 Unfolded by the water are the faces of the flowers.

 Flowers thrive where there is water, as thriving people are found where living conditions are good. 

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Join Us

Uhiwai is in the business of providing a holistic approach to solving some of our society’s biggest challenges. We make sure our partners are empowered by creating opportunities for individuals and communities.

Volunteer opportunities are available as well. Currently our efforts are supporting the two organizations Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership (LHWRP) and Ka ʻOhana O Kahikinui (KOOK). LHWRP works to restore native habitat over 45,000 acres on the leeward slopes of Haleakala. Uhiwai seeks to support those efforts by providing native seedlings, manpower, outreach capacity, and supplies and equipment that further those efforts.  KOOK is currently working to provide cultural education to visitors traveling the Hana Highway through Kahikinui, offering cultural education and opportunities to contribute to restoration efforts at the historic Hale Pili and forest exclosures. Learn more at and

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Contact Uhiwai

PO Box 1056, Makawao, HI 96768


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