Forest & Trail marks 20th year
Hawaii Forest & Trail is celebrating its 20th anniversary by launching a new program to benefit local nonprofits aligned with its belief that “conservation begins with education.”
Rob and Cindy Pacheco have a passion for the natural world of Hawaii. The couple, who founded Hawaii Forest & Trail in May 1993 respect that these islands contain diverse and unique ecosystems rivaling any place on earth.
Pacheco, who had worked as a naturalist on the U.S. mainland, recognized that most residents and visitors were seeing Hawaii’s beautiful scenery yet they were coming and going with little knowledge of Hawaii’s natural history. He decided to combine his passion with a vision: to share Hawaii’s natural history with others and to help conserve Hawaii’s endangered environment through education.
Now, 20 years later, Hawaii Forest & Trail remains one of only a few tour companies allowed access to private lands and wildlife refuges. From their initial rainforest bird walk, the Pachecos have expanded eco-adventure offerings to include Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, stargazing from Mauna Kea, a waterfall walk and specialized birding tours. In 2011 the Pachecos founded Kohala Zipline based in North Kohala, the first tree-to-tree on Hawaii Island.
The company sponsors free field trips for island students and participates in tree plantings and other community service and volunteer work-day projects throughout the year.
To celebrate its 20th year, Hawaii Forest & Trail is launching a community program, E Hoomaluo, translated to “Conserve Our Natural Resources.”
A committee of Hawaii Forest & Trail employees met and together recommended a list of on-island nonprofits most aligned with Hawaii Forest & Trail’s mission and values.
Hawaii Forest & Trail will partner with these organizations in the coming year by way of fundraising, tours, volunteer work days or what might best benefit the non-profit organization.
The partners included this year are: Bishop Museum; North Kohala Community Resource Center; Nature Conservancy; Friends of Hakalau; Hawaii Wildlife Center; West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery; Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative; Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; Kohala Center, Kohala Watershed Partnership and the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center (affiliated with the San Diego Zoo).
“We began our company with the vision and commitment of giving back, and we wanted to do something special to celebrate our 20th year,” said Rob Pacheco. “E Hoomaluo speaks perfectly to our mission. Our 77 employees are on board and excited about the opportunity to contribute through these organizations and do so in a targeted, meaningful, and personal way.”
On May 18, Bishop Museum became the first E Hoomaluo partner. Bishop Museum has chosen to offer its members the opportunity to participate in a Hawaii Forest & Trail Bird Watching Adventure to Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge. Members will be joined by Bishop Museum research staff. Sign-ups are being handled by Bishop Museum for the 23 seats aboard two of Hawaii Forest & Trail’s specialized vehicles.
“The mystique of Hawaii, the essence of this place, a place that millions of people from all over the world love to visit, is found in the life of the land,” says Rob Pacheco. “Even after 20 years, each day I am out in the field, Hawaii reveals a little more of herself to me; an experience I love to share with others. These encounters affect people in profound ways. We are grateful to have the opportunity to share our enthusiasm for nature and conservation with others through our tours and now through E Hoomaluo.” About Hawaii Forest & Trail Hawaii Forest & Trail has been exploring Hawai’i since 1993. The company’s mission is to deliver guests an excellent, safe and fun learning experience, to support island communities and resources through philanthropy, sustainable business practices and a conservation ethic, and to provide a healthy, profitable, and rewarding environment for our ohana (family). On each and every one of their seven adventures, private and custom tours, and Kohala Zipline Zip & Dip tour, Hawaii Forest & Trail shares the splendor of Hawaii as part of their vision to inspire a deep connection with the natural world. Visit Hawaii-Forest.com.