KOHALA COAST, HAWAII—The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort and the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI) launched its tree planting partnership, creating Hawaii Island’s first carbon neutral resort, along with a new 100,000-tree Legacy Forest on-property at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. These trees will be planted over the following years and will significantly contribute to the restoration of some of Hawaii’s most important endemic species, preserving them long into the future.
The inaugural planting of 150 Legacy Trees was completed by The Westin Hapuna staff in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day. “Forests are the most effective and immediately scalable carbon capture systems on Earth. When we lose our native forests, we not only lose the ecological benefits they provide, but also the collective cultural heritage of our Islands. The simple act of planting trees will have a profound effect on reversing these losses, not only for this generation, but for all the generations that follow,” said Tom Cross, General Manager of The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort.
The Legacy Trees planted in The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort Forest will not be harvested, and all the trees will live out their natural lives in the forest. The carbon they sequester will also help the resort to remain carbon neutral. Legacy Trees can be planted to honor an individual, commemorate an event, or to memorialize a loved one. Legacy Tree sponsors will receive a Certificate of Planting with a personalized dedication and tracking data. Each Legacy Tree is equipped with an RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) tag and can be viewed on HLRI’s TreeTracker at FindMy.LegacyTrees.org through drone imagery.
“The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is offering their guests the unique opportunity to actively participate in the process of offsetting the carbon footprint of their stay by planting their very own Legacy Trees. The benefits go far beyond the physical act of planting a tree—individuals are empowered to act on their own, rather than wait for others to solve today’s problems,” said Craig Anderson, Vice President of Resort Operations.
Learn more about the Hapuna Beach Legacy Forest planting program at LegacyForest.org/Hapuna.